Located on a corner of campus directly adjacent to the heart of Chico, the Student Services Center serves as a gateway to the University. Administrators at CSUC approached BAR Architects with the following challenges: locate 26 disparate departments in the new center, create a warm, welcoming and daylight-filled environment that is comfortable for both new and enrolled students, design the building to be as sustainable as possible, and have the building reinforce the traditional architecture of the original brick campus building.
BAR responded with a courtyard building design that emphasizes both the community and synergy of the building. Areas accessed by the students and general public are located directly off a single-loaded, daylight-filled corridor. The building extends the arboretum setting of the campus into the heart of the Student Services Center by creating a large garden in the courtyard. Generous accommodations for bicycles, high-performance windows, extensive sun shading and access to views for all who work within the building enhance the comfort of the building and optimize its energy performance.
Through careful brick detailing and massing, the four-story building reflects the architectural tradition of the campus, meets the university's strict budget goals and has achieved LEED Silver Certification. Selected sustainable design elements include extensive day lighting with exterior sun shading, low- and zero-VOC interior products, high percentage of recycled and locally resourced materials, cool roof design, and water-efficient landscaping.