The University of California, Irvine, last month topped out its Humanities Gateway project, an office building and auditorium for the school's growing School of Humanities. Designed by Fentress Architects, Denver, with Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Greeley, Colo., as general contractor, the $29 million, 76,000-sf facility will also feature a film screening room for 90 people.
Fentress designed the facility with two very different faces. On one side, a formal façade harmonizes with the campus's existing architectural vocabulary. On the other, an ultra-modern, glass-and-metal serpentine wall "expresses the concepts of inquiry and delight characteristic of the humanities," according to the design team.
The design optimizes use of outdoor spaces in response to its temperate, southern California climate. Two first-floor conference rooms open to the courtyard with a sliding glass-wall panel system, expanding event space to the outdoors for special functions. Completion: July 2009.