LOHA, SOM, and Kevin Daly Architects collaborate on new student housing at UCSB
By Antonio Pacheco
The Architect’s Newspaper
1 May 2018
Photo courtesy of Bruce Damonte
College of Environmental Design alumnus Kevin Daly (B.Arch ‘80), founder of Kevin Daly Architects (KDA), recently completed a housing project on the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus. The project, known as the San Joaquin Villages, is composed of 107 three-bedroom, two-bath apartments, a string of campus amenities, and open courtyards.
The San Joaquin housing project is located in the university’s North Campus and was a collaboration between KDA, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA), and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM). San Joaquin Villages opened to students in the fall of 2017.
The North Village site is sectioned into four principal parcels, with LOHA and KDA each taking two sites to create a patchwork of low-rise, interconnected housing blocks. Together, the space brings 107 units to UCSB which can sleep 1,000 students in total.
The accommodations are intentionally utilitarian and are linked to shared student amenity spaces, such as a laundromat and an organic market. Reading rooms, social spaces, and dining facilities are dotted around the complex, “projecting from second-floor perches in some instances, tucked snugly below elevated walkways in others.” The units also include windows which are wrapped in both vertical and shaped aluminum sunshades.
“UCSB dormitories have typically pushed circulation to their exterior envelope, with an inert central courtyard accessible only from within the building. [Our] design inverts this circulation scheme, [creating] a reductive exterior edge with an open, lively interior courtyard containing all building circulation, encouraging movement throughout the complex,” said LOHA principal Lorcan O’Herlihy.
The master plan of the village was drafted by SOM, which also completed the new Tenaya Towers—a pair of six-story housing blocks—to create 65 new, three-bedroom, two-bath apartments. For the village, SOM “designed a pair of parallel towers that are oriented east-to-west that are studded with projecting balconies to help maintain passive airflow and enrich student life.”
The design plan also includes a free-standing pavilion to a plaza located between the two towers which will be used for study and recreation spaces. The towers will also be outfitted with rooftop terraces.
The village also includes a new dining commons which has been designed by architects at KieranTimberlake.
The landscape of the space pays particular attention to the surrounding environment. The site design includes features to redirect stormwater runoff into new biofiltration planters and bioswales that will purify the captures water before draining it into the surrounding wetlands.