LMN Architects/Hathaway Dinwiddie announce opening of new Active Learning Classroom Building at University of California, Irvine

Wired for the 21st-century, the Anteater Pavilion complex becomes California’s first building wholly dedicated to active learning

Seattle, Washington, UNITED STATES

Seattle, Washington, Oct. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LMN Architects and builder Hathaway Dinwiddie announce the completion of the $67 million Anteater Learning Pavilion at the University of California, Irvine, California’s first dedicated active learning building. The 65,000-square-foot facility brings active learning and 21st century educational opportunities to students across the campus. Flipping traditional education on its head, the new building supports active learning strategies that maximize collaboration and emphasize exploration, discovery and testing ideas.

“It’s all about social performance. The interactive functionality of the active-learning classrooms extends to a sequence of community spaces—interior and exterior—providing students with lots of choices for group work and social connection,” said George Shaw, FAIA, Partner at LMN Architects and Partner-in-Charge of the project.

Set in the heart of the 1,500-acre Irvine campus, the design promotes a diversity of team-based modes of learning and social interaction, while extending the active learning experience to the surrounding Aldrich Park campus neighborhood. The project is composed of three primary elements: a two-story elliptically-shaped Pavilion housing lecture halls; a three-story classroom wing framed by a student Mixing Hall; and the Bridge, a central, vertical circulation and gathering space that interconnects the functions of the two primary structures.

“By assembling program areas into distinct building components and then pulling those components apart, we were able to break down the scale of the buildings and create opportunities for social interaction in those interstitial spaces,” said John Chau, AIA, Partner and Project Designer at LMN Architects. 

The new complex features two floors of day-lit classrooms and circulation areas (the Mixing Hall) and a third level, which houses student offices and computer labs. Natural light filters through the exterior sunshade latticework to the mixing zone’s circulation and collaboration spaces. Accessed from large campus plazas on two sides, a series of community spaces capture expansive views to Aldrich Park and the broader campus landscape, creating an interconnected indoor-outdoor student experience. 

The elliptically shaped Pavilion anchors the entry plazas, while housing two multi-use lecture halls—one 400-seat and one 250-seat. The halls employ a double-tier seating configuration that allow students to work in sub-groups, while preserving lecture and case-study functionality. An exterior loggia adjoins the Pavilion to the pedestrian scale of the plaza, with perimeter seating clusters and an open-air stairway that spirals to the upper level walkway. Vertical window openings bring light to the instructional spaces while creating an internal glow that animates the Pavilion’s evening presence within the plaza.

“LMN’s creative approach of unlocking the site and rearranging the program led to a bold design solution that enhances the overall experience for both students and faculty,” said Brian Pratt, AIA, LEED AP, Campus Architect for UC Irvine.

Inside, flexible furniture, multiple writing surfaces and wireless projection all serve to optimize active learning, which places an emphasis on problem solving and interactivity with instructors and fellow students. In fifteen smart classrooms and auditoriums, old-school audiovisual equipment has been replaced by sleek computer screens on every wall and desk. Each can be linked to from laptop or mobile devices. Seats swivel for group exercises.

Howard Gilman, Chancellor for UC Irvine notes, “This building represents a fundamental commitment to what we are all about, and the reason why this university was created in the first place. Our commitment with this facility is not only to create an experience for students, but to create a laboratory for our faculty to realize the next generation of instruction in higher education. With this facility, UCI establishes itself as an undisputed leader within American academia.”

A high-performance building envelope reduces the need for extensive mechanical and ventilation systems, which in turn lowers operating costs. Natural daylight floods virtually every space, minimizing the need for supplemental lighting. A rooftop solar array further reduces greenhouse gas emissions by a respectable 47.4 metric tons per year. Site storm water is handled by an onsite biofiltration system. The complex is designed to meet or exceed the CALGreen 2013 Building Code and LEED Platinum certification (New Construction V2009) is anticipated.

The Anteater Learning Pavilion marks a continuation of LMN and Hathaway Dinwiddie’s previously successful design-build collaborations on the UC Irvine campus, which include the addition to the Paul Merage School of Business and the University Extension Classroom Building. Construction recently began on the new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building—LMN and Hathaway Dinwiddie’s fourth collaboration on the UC Irvine campus. 

Project Team
LMN Architects (design and executive architect)
Hathaway Dinwiddie (design-build contractor)
DCI Engineers (structural engineer)
Alvine Engineering (MEP engineer)
AHBE (landscape architect)

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About LMN
LMN Architects is internationally recognized for the planning and design of environments that elevate the social experience. The firm works across a diversity of project typologies that include higher education facilities, science and technology, civic and cultural projects, conference and convention centers, urban mixed-use projects, transportation, and other programs that celebrate and enrich communities. The 150-person firm, based in Seattle, is the recipient of the 2016 American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award www.LMNArchitects.com

About Hathaway Dinwiddie 
San Francisco-based Hathaway Dinwiddie specializes in building significant public and private projects including cultural arts venues, student housing, educational facilities, office buildings, hotels, health and life sciences buildings, pharmaceutical projects, and mixed-use developments. The firm was named 2016 ENR California Builder of the Year. www.hdcco.com

About the University of California, Irvine 
Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It's located in one of the world's safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County's second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.


Exterior View of the Anteater Pavilion. Image courtesy of LMN Architects. The traditional lecture hall is reimagined to allow for collaborative learning. Image courtesy of LMN Architects.

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