Construction

Under construction: Santa Clara University’s ‘campus within a campus’

Santa Clara University Campus. | Photo: ZGF Santa Clara University Campus. | Photo: ZGF

This $265 million “campus within a campus” is designed to promote cross-disciplinary exploration to enhance undergraduate student learning and discovery across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

SANTA CLARA, California. November 17, 2020 (BizJournals/ZGF) — In 2017, John and Susan Sobrato donated $100 million to Santa Clara University to build the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation. It was the largest gift the university had ever received. That facility is now under construction. This $265 million “campus within a campus” is designed to promote cross-disciplinary exploration to enhance undergraduate student learning and discovery across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Set to open in early 2022, the 300,000-square-foot building is being built on the site of the previous engineering and law buildings with a four-story wing on the east side and three-story wings on the north and south. The courtyard in the middle will open up toward Heafey Hall and Bergin Hall to create an interconnection between all of the STEM facilities on campus.

The Sobrato Campus will house classrooms, labs, research, study and office space at SCU. Devcon Construction is the general contractor for the project. Onsite Covid protocols include staggering workers’ start times, initial temperature checks and Covid-related questions, mandated mask and eye protection, and constant sanitizing of the bathroom facilities.

To better prepare students for success in the dynamic workplace of the future, students will be encouraged to think expansively and collaboratively about the world through the interdisciplinary setting of the building. The building layout will establish learning neighborhoods for cross-discipline inquiry that extend horizontally and connect vertically.

Significant attention is paid to the placement of classrooms and collaboration spaces with the intent to pull students of all fields of study through the various floors of science, engineering, and technology labs, offering visual and physical engagement in the broad range of STEM disciplines and activities. Collaborative spaces are deliberately located at key intersections on each floor with direct access to vertical circulation, daylight, and views.

Drawing inspiration from the existing Mission Style heritage of the campus, limestone exterior walls complement the color and texture of Santa Clara’s traditional masonry and stucco construction. Red tile roofs, with simple geometric forms, continue and reinforce the campus palette, providing rich color and texture for the new facility.

The U-shaped complex will feature a central courtyard space surrounded by the three wings of the new building. The outdoor area is activated by ground floor access to a café with indoor and outdoor dining and provides a variety of spaces for quiet study and group interactions. A unique double height maker space will face the courtyard to display the creative energy of students as they ideate and fabricate projects and prototypes.