Golden West College – Math and Science Building

  • area / size 120,000 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • HMC Architects designed the new innovative Math and Science Building for Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California.

    Fueled by discovery. Powered by exploratory learning. STEM education is transforming the typical teacher-centered classroom by encouraging a curriculum focused on interdisciplinary problem solving. The new Math and Science Building at Golden West College in Huntington Beach creates engaging and flexible spaces geared to the latest pedagogical concepts in for teaching in the competitive 21st century. The three-story building is located along the western edge of the campus presenting a fresh new face to the community. Functioning as the home for the college’s mathematics and science programs, the new building provides a much-needed expansion of laboratory, classroom, office and support spaces tailored to the specialized needs of the programs within.

    Smashing barriers and accommodating the various ways students learn is the hallmark of STEM and the new Math and Science Building. STEM activities that were once taught in isolation now overlap in ways where the lines between them are not easily identified. This connectedness considers more than just the building’s layout, but also how every space is designed so that students passing through can see fellow classmates experimenting, studying, or engaging in a class. Each space is multi-functional and provides opportunities for social engagement and mentorship. Areas along corridors throughout the building expand and contract to provide spatial variety and play host to small-scale study groups or retreat areas for casual socialization. Common “sticky spaces” keep students on campus and promote relationship building that will help them grow academically and socially. The result is a design that accommodates connectivity and integrates all STEM disciplines cohesively, enabling academic and interdisciplinary innovation.

    The spaces of the building are organized into four groups related to the physical sciences, the biological sciences, mathematics, and shared amenities. The ground floor hosts spaces designated for mathematics, including faculty offices and computer labs. It also includes the facility’s shared amenities such as lecture spaces, the division office and the new STEM resource center. The division office, STEM resource center, and faculty offices are connected to the main lobby, creating a hub of activity at the primary entry. The faculty office areas incorporate informal break-out areas immediately adjacent, allowing impromptu study and learning sessions to occur out in the open.

    The second and third floors of the building include spaces designated for the biological and physical sciences including faculty offices, laboratories and prep rooms. These include anatomy, physiology, ecology, zoology, microbiology, general biology, chemistry and physics.

    Science is the systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation, leading to discovery. The guiding principle for the design is based on the concept of observation and discovery. Golden West College’s Math and Science Building integrates all STEM disciplines cohesively, enables academic and interdisciplinary innovation, and inspires its students to reach new levels of success.

    Architect: HMC Architects
    Design Team: Brett Leavitt, Evan Troxel, Nicholas Casolari, Eera Babtiwale, Jon Richardson
    Construction Manager: Sundt Construction
    Photography: Lawrence Anderson