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Steinberg Architects Will Guide Freshmen in Santa Monica

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Take in the latest shots and renderings of the under-construction new Student Services building at Santa Monica College on Pico Boulevard and 20th Street. Steinberg Architects, which is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Los Angeles and San Jose, is behind the building, which is expected to be done by 2013. Since our construction photos were taken two weeks ago, "a big hole" has been achieved, according to Bruce Smith, press representative for Santa Monica College. And someone is still spending in this economy--this is a $52 million project, according to Smith. According to the architecture firm's description of the building, one of the design goals is as follow: "By locating the project at the northeast corner of the campus fronting a major LA Boulevard, the building will define a formal campus entry that currently does not exist."

Among other features, the 86,606-square foot building will house administrative offices, and a 200-seat lecture hall. There's also three levels of underground parking. And looking at the architecture again, these are some of the design intentions, according to materials provided to us by Steinberg: [Provide a] "new image for the College and heart of campus" and [create] a "signature building along major Los Angeles Boulevard." Check and check. Also, there's this goal: "Efficient student flow and intuitive way-finding for first- time students."

Construction on the project, which took out three structures, started in late December, according to Smith.

And the project description from Steinberg: "The College’s new facility is a contemporary architectural statement that will provide a symbolic “front door” to the campus. The building’s design resonates with echoes of the physical setting, evoking images of running water, the nearby mountains, ocean, and beach. Its “skin” is a functional membrane that covers the building and an aesthetic wrapper that ties the project together. It is intended to inherit the cellular quality of the program and provide shelter, structure, and thermal mass. It also collects solar energy and provides natural light and ventilation for its occupants. The entire building is carefully oriented to maximize daylight and views to its surrounding streetscape. The openings in the skin are designed to respond to climatic conditions.
· Steinberg Architects [Official Site]