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Lakeport, CA | Complete | IIDA Northern California Chapter, Honor Award

The Mendocino College Lake Center is a new, small satellite campus located in the midst of the rural landscape of Lake County. The campus provides convenient access to higher education for students living in more isolated areas of this community college district. The carefully designed arrangement of courtyards, classroom buildings, resource rooms, and learning spaces has been warmly embraced by its close-knit community. The warm public reception to the new Center is the outcome of a simple, shared community and College vision to improve access to higher education in an underserved area. The qualities of the design reflect the region’s cultural heritage and demonstrate the value inherent in its history. The dual relationship between access and heritage is what makes the new campus successful in the eyes of its students and neighbors. It inspires people as a place to come together as a community and as a springboard for personal growth and learning.

The central Learning Common is the active hub of the complex and its adjacency to administrators and student services reinforce connections between staff and student. A distinctive circular multi-use Community Classroom, inspired by regional Native American roundhouse architecture, marks the entry and threshold to campus where students and community arrive. The classroom buildings are reminiscent of those that once dotted a traditional Northern California ranch adding familiarity and comfort to the expression of the architecture. The overall design, scale and layout of the facility commemorate community values and connect with the residents of rural Lake County.

IIDA Northern California Chapter | 2014 Honor Award
AIA Redwood Empire Chapter | 2014 Citation Award