Foothill College, Lower Campus Complex

Los Altos Hills, California

Project Info
Foothill College, Lower Campus Complex
Los Altos Hills, California
Completion Date: 2007
Square Footage: 93,000

Commendation Award, 2010
Perkins+Will Design Leadership Forum

Design Award, 2009
AIA, San Fernando Valley

Honor Award, 2004
AIA, Pasadena/Foothill Chapter

Set into a grassy hillside, this award-winning campus epitomizes the integration of academic architecture with nature. Completed in 1960 by renowned modernist architect Ernest Kump, the campus architecture is abstracted from Japanese temple design with dominant sweeping shingle roofs above structural concrete and cedar siding.

In 2002, Perkins + Will developed a campus master plan to guide expansion and develop concepts for academic clustering, pedestrian networks, and open space that reinforces the original planning concepts and harmonizes with the existing architecture.

The new four-building lower campus complex is the college's first expansion since 1960. It includes a 40,000-square-foot life science building that centers on teaching laboratories with a focus in biotechnology, ornamental horticulture, veterinary technology, and biology. The 40,000-square-foot student services building provides space for college admissions and orientation, career planning, service learning, and personal development. The 220-seat Lohman Theater is designed for performance and teaching. Technology-enriched classrooms are housed in a building designed to be shared by all disciplines and to facilitate industry participation through seminars and training.

The buildings are clustered around a central arrival plaza and ornamental gardens, which serve as outdoor extensions of classrooms and learning labs for the ornamental horticulture program. Softly landscaped roofs integrate the buildings with the steeply sloping landscape. These outdoor spaces are shared by multiple departments, encouraging collaboration among faculty and students.