Project File: Seismically sound

Feb. 1, 2006
San Bernardino Valley College, San Bernardino, Calif.

The learning resource center/library, health and life-sciences center, and the administration and student-services building at San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC), San Bernardino, Calif., help create a new identity for the 80-year-old college. The buildings replace several original campus buildings that were condemned because they were seismically unsound.

Six years ago, the college learned that the San Jacinto earthquake fault ran through the campus, which compromised the structural integrity of many of the buildings. SBVC commissioned the architects to develop a master plan and design five new buildings to replace the structures within the fault zone.

Each new structure contains unbonded brace frame (UBF) seismic technology that first was developed in Japan. These buildings are the first public buildings in California to receive approval by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) to use such technology.

Each building has a public portion with common meeting areas and study lounges, and a private portion with classrooms and faculty offices. Constructed from floor-to-ceiling glass and metal wall panels, the large spaces support a multifaceted metal roof. The triangulated form of the roof suggests the topographical movement and vertical displacement characterized by seismic activity. The roofs almost touch the ground to form a point of entry and an exterior covered space where students and faculty can gather and interact.

The architects are Steven Ehrlich Architects (Culver City, Calif.) and Thomas Blurock Architects (Costa Mesa, Calif.).

Sponsored Recommendations

Latest from mag