By Alan Butler AIA
Senior Principal, TLCD Architecture
Nearly a decade ago, I typed up a one-page list of things to look for in the libraries we were visiting with a stakeholder group from Napa Valley College. That list morphed into a workbook called Touring Libraries, first printed in 2005. Thirty thousand photographs later, and after touring libraries throughout the United States and Europe, a new book called Experiencing Libraries has been born. This edition was published through the online service Blurb and will soon be available in hard bound, soft cover, and e-book versions.
When non-designers visit other libraries it is often difficult for them to understand and articulate the qualities and functions of the spaces they are visiting. This book guides them though the library from the site, to the front door and to all facets of the library. In addition to basic library space uses it includes sections on such topics as community rooms, way finding, loading docks and HVAC systems. The book is helpful both as a tour guide and as a tool for programming and plan evaluation. Written with library programmer Will Baty, whom TLCD Architecture has worked with on 4 of our recent library projects, we hope to find an institutional publisher such as the American Library Association in order to share it with a wider audience.
You can preview or purchase a copy at the TLCD Bookstore:
On May 1, 2013, several hundred people gathered on a warm and windy afternoon in Lakeport to officially celebrate the Grand Opening of the Mendocino College Lake County Center, designed by TLCD Architecture. Effusively described by several in attendance as the best building in Lake County, the new center provides 15,500 square feet of classrooms, labs and administrative space that replaced temporary facilities. Sited on a beautiful oak studded site at the western edge of Lakeport, this first phase has capacity for future growth. Somewhat unique to the Center is a combined learning resource center, administrative lobby and gathering space at the heart of the campus. Mount Konocti dominates the views and is the focus of the site layout and beautifully framed in an opening in the concrete wall of the cylindrical Community Room. The deep overhangs of the buildings are well adapted to the hot summers of Lake County and the overall scale inviting to the community. With an art classroom and science lab it will allow students to take classes that before required an hour-long trip over the daunting Hopland Grade to Ukiah. The appreciation for this facility was widely evident by those in attendance.
Construction is progressing in Willits on the new North County Center for the Mendocino-Lake Community College District. Midstate Construction is scheduled to complete the project this summer so the new campus can be open for classes in the Fall.
At this point in the construction process, the building has really taken shape; steel is erected and wood framing is nearly complete. In the coming weeks the weathering steel panels are scheduled for installation and the exterior will really come to life as the panel faces begin to oxidize.
The new Mendocino College Library and Learning Resource Center designed by TLCD Architecture was featured in two recent articles for exceeding standard design code by more than 20 percent. For campus wide efforts, Mendocino College received rebates totaling almost $800,000 from PG&E and the California Community College-Investor Owned Utility (CCC-IOU) partnership.
Read full article in Lake County News
Read full article in Press Democrat
Mendocino College Library and Learning Resource Center
Last evening 3 of TLCD Architecture’s projects were recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as Top Projects in the region. Each year the Business Journal recognizes outstanding projects in the North Bay in several categories.
Mendocino College Library and Learning Resource Center received a Top Project award in the ‘Green’ category, recognizing a project that exemplified sustainable design. This is the second year in a row that TLCD Architecture received an award in this category. This project features numerous “green” features including daylight harvesting, a highly efficient mechanical system, and a green (vegetated) roof.
Roseland Creek Elementary School
Roseland Creek Elementary School, Roseland School District’s first new elementary school to be constructed in 50 years received the K-12 Education award. This 2-story school features exceptional indoor and outdoor learning environments. It too is a model of sustainability, and significantly outperforms stringent Title 24 requirements.
Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch
The winning entry in the Finance category was Luther Burbank Savings Headquarters Branch in downtown Santa Rosa, which opened for business earlier this week. Defined by cherry colored exterior wood panels and crisp aluminum details, this highly visible project at the entry to downtown is hard to miss.
Rendering of Mendocino College’s Willits Center Satellite Campus | TLCD Architecture
On Friday November 2nd, the Los Angeles Times ran a story written by Lee Romney highlighting the many issues confronting rural Community Colleges: Rural Community Colleges Face Distinct Challenges. Featuring long-time TLCD client Mendocino College, the article also includes a photo gallery with a number of images of life on the College’s Ukiah campus. Describing the role of Mendocino College in the communities it serves, the article discusses the coming changes that may impact both its role in those communities and the courses and services it can offer its students. Highlighting TLCD’s recently completed Library and Learning Center as an indication of the kind of investment the District has made to provide first-class facilities for its student population, the community’s strong support for the College is demonstrated by the resources residents have committed to this district.
Rural community colleges operate within a particular set of constraints. With smaller student populations spread over geographically large regions, the ability to deliver educational services can in part be related to student’s access to facilities. We have seen through our work with Yuba College on their Student Center in Clearlake as well as our ongoing projects with Mendocino College for their Lake Center and the Willits Center campuses, how the strategic addition of satellite facilities can greatly expand a community colleges’ ability to serve their students and their communities by improving student’s access. Encompassing classrooms, computer resource facilities, small libraries/ learning centers, and faculty offices, satellite campuses can provide access to college facilities without the need to travel to the main campus.
Development of the support infrastructure including production facilities and purpose-designed distance education classrooms for implementation of technologies such as Yuba College’s eLearning and Mendocino College’s Distance Education programs can further serve to broaden access to educational opportunities available to rural community college students.
Last Friday afternoon, September 14, Mendocino College held an Open House for the recently completed Library/Learning Center at the Ukiah campus. A crowd of about 200 people, including community members, college staff, and representatives of the design and construction team attended the festivities held in the new Library plaza. Roe Darnell, the President/Superintendent, served as the master of ceremonies for the formal dedication of the building, which included comments by Board President Joel Clark, Chair of the Oversight Committee Richard Cooper, Dean of Instruction Virginia Guleff, and Student Body President Morgan Shippey. Building tours followed, and the event was concluded with a vast spread of delectable refreshments prepared by the college’s Culinary Arts program.
The new 48,000 square foot building, designed by TLCD Architecture and built by Midstate Construction, includes a Library, Group Study rooms, Learning Center, MESA, Language Lab, and general classrooms. The Library, which provides spectacular views of the Ukiah Valley to the south, has been open for one month, and has averaged over 300 visits per day, almost ten times the typical gate count at the old facility.
Just in time for the Fall semester…… the Clearlake Campus modernization is wrapping up. Completed in just over 1 year, the campus has been transformed with three new buildings. These additions allow administration services to be located in the same building, the Culinary Arts program to expand with the latest cooking equipment and teaching aids, and for the Science Department to begin offering Anatomy classes due to the inclusion of a Wet Lab and Cadaver Room. Kudos go to Sundt Construction for meeting a tight construction schedule, in often very demanding conditions.
There has also been recent buzz in the local press. The Lake County Record-Bee has been keeping their eye on this project, letting the local citizens know that they have an amenity that adds real value to Lake County community. The entire Yuba College Community, Students and Staff alike, deserve my sincere thank you for remaining upbeat, energetic and commited throughout this lengthy process. They can all now take advantage of the modernized facility well into the future.
Library and Administration Building
The Willits Center, designed by TLCD Architecture, will be a 6,700 square-feet classroom and administrative building on a 4.1-acre site located east of downtown Willits. The heart of the building design will be the Learning Center, a large, day lit space for students to study and collaborate. An operable sliding storefront wall will open the Learning Center to an adjacent computer classroom, and two large sliding barn doors will open the front desk to the Learning Center. The exterior will include weathering steel panels, fiber-cement panels, and glass, while the interior will feature reclaimed redwood paneling and polished concrete floors. This building should be a real gem for the community of Willits and will help the College meet its goal of providing students with a convenient and collaborative educational environment for the students and residents of North Mendocino County.
At the August 2nd meeting of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District Board of Trustees, the construction contract for the Willits Center was awarded to Midstate Construction of Petaluma. There were a total of 9 bids received, and the 3 low bidders were all under the engineer’s estimate of $4 million. Mobilization of the jobsite should begin soon and the construction duration is set for 10 months.
When it’s burgundy. And gold. And pink and yellow and, perhaps, four or five shades of green.
Vegetated (“Green”) roofs have historically been used to reduce storm-water run-off, to replace vegetation that would otherwise be lost at the building footprint, to provide energy savings by buffering the roof membrane from the ambient air temperature and to extend the service life of the roof membrane by shielding it from UV exposure. Originally seen as one of several features of the project to reduce the water-quality impacts of impervious surfaces on the project site and to improve energy performance, the vegetated roof on the Mendocino College Library Learning Resource Center is an example of how a design decision made in support of sustainability goals can also yield extraordinary aesthetic results.
The roof is comprised of a single-ply roof membrane and tapered insulation with the plants contained in 12 by 24 inch LiveRoof trays provided by Florasource, Ltd. installed over a protection membrane. Heavy-weight roof pavers and ballast complete the roof components. Working with Landscape Architect Quadriga, the decision was made to use the tray module as an organizing element. Selecting from the 300 or so species of sedum available, trays containing five different sedum species have been arranged mosaic-like into a design featuring waves of color spreading across the roof surface. Pavers and ballast are used to bound the edges of the plant material and essentially providing a frame for the composition.
Located immediately outside a class room and adjacent to an outdoor terrace area, the vegetated roof provides both welcome views from inside the classroom and a colorful foreground element for the views of the hills rising to the south west of the site.