Make yourself at home

Sian
Friday 26 Feb 2010

College of Santa Fe designs new student centre to be heart of campus

The College of Santa Fe, nationally recognised for their art and theatre programs, currently lacks a central space that promotes student interaction. Overland Partners designed a new student centre to be the heart of the campus and to provide a common gathering place for social and organisational activities. It will be the 'living room' for the community and provide a nurturing environment for building relationships that will last beyond college. This complex provides dining, meeting rooms, student offices, a post office, large conference meeting rooms and a place for alumnus to return and engage with college life.

The use of local indigenous materials including stone adobe, wood and glass as well as state of the art mechanical and electrical systems, including GEO thermal and solar mechanical systems are major components of the Student Center’s LEED Gold design. Other sustainability features include site reclamation, solar orientation, daylight & natural ventilation, rainwater harvesting, solar water heating, efficient building skin, and flexible space.

The form of the building is unique in the way it stretches across the campus mall creating a bridge as well as gateway to the heart of the campus. Indoor and outdoor covered spaces protect students from the intense New Mexico sun whilst allowing abundant natural light during the cold winter months. The College of Santa Fe recognises the importance of having a place that is warm and welcoming to attract alumni back to the college as well as to provide a venue for students to build lifelong friendships and shared memories. The new Student Center is designed to do just that.

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