2008 Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture Communication Arts Building,Cuyamaca College El Cajon, California Institution of Higher Education Project of Distinction NTD Architecture
Exterior Details Community Environment Framing the outdoor space with its curvilinear form, a central gathering place has been created, activated by student use throughout the day and public activities in the evening. With the performing arts theater, digital theater, and art gallery/lobby opening off of the new lower site area, it is frequently used as an indoor/outdoor space for public events. This has provided a much needed connection between the college and its surrounding context, providing an invitation to its community to share use of the new facility. The Communication Arts building presents itself as a new face to a growing campus. Oriented toward the main entrance of the college, the three-story facade both relates to the curvature of many existing buildings, while also greeting visitors as a representation of a new direction the college is heading. The combination of its architectural aesthetic, its careful site positioning, and the new programs contained within, has been a welcomed addition to Cuyamaca Community College, and signifies a transition from the college’s past to the future.
North and South Elevations,Vertical Circulation Community Environment Cut into a hillside, the Communication Arts Building creates a bridge between the upper and lower campus with its central vertical circulation design.
Fine Arts Learning Environment The Communication Arts Building brings much needed lab and assembly space to Cuyamaca College, giving students ideal means by which they can exercise their creativity. Past studies have indicated that the chronic lack of specialized lab facilities has prohibited students from filling out their curricula. This program brings the necessary lab-related facilities to fill the gap and enables the college to provide the students what they need to build a foundation for success. Programs include English, ESL, Reading, Speech, American Sign Language, Music, Drama, Fine Arts, Assisted Learning, instructional labs, and independent learning labs. The lobby area, which is shared with the recital hall, serves as the main gallery space for the fine arts program. The fine and digital arts programs include painting, drawing and sculpture instruction. Lobby/Fine Arts Gallery Fine Arts Lab
Music Department/Theater Learning Environment As home to the College’s music and drama programs, the building features a four hundred-seat theater/recital hall, adjacent scenery construction, rehearsal, and costuming spaces. The music department has acoustically optimized instrument and choral rehearsal rooms, a music library, and an electronic music lab. There is also a one hundred-seat digital theater capable of widescreen cinema projection and digital multi-media presentations.
Sun Control Physical Environment Generous amounts of exterior glazing surround the building, allowing ample daylight in and views out to the surrounding areas. Shade elements have been carefully designed to control heat gain from direct sun penetration.
Daylighting Physical Environment Daylight-filled spaces are throughout to provide the best lighting for its art programs, as well as reducing the building's dependence on artificial lighting, improving energy performance.
Adjacency Diagrams Planning Process The Communication Arts Complex was driven by the Facilities Master Plan that was completed in 2000. This project is the first educational facility that links the lower and upper portions of the campus, providing an educational facility within close proximity to existing parking. The project addressed the need for a facility to complete the educational requirements in English, Humanities and Fine and Professional Art programs, which were not adequately provided with the former facilities. The Communication Arts Complex was jointly funded by District Proposition R funds and State Proposition 5 bond funds, administered by the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges. The Chancellor's Office reviewed and approved the Initial Project Proposal (IPP) and the Final Project Proposal (FPP). Approval to receive bids for construction was acquired in 2005.
Schematic Design Options Planning Process As a partially state funded project, there were restrictions on the amount of certain types of spaces which could be constructed, based on the existing "inventory" of space already owned by the District. Through the IPP and FPP process, the allowable types and quantities of spaces were determined and approved by the Chancellor's Office, forming foundation for the programming process. Each academic department that would occupy the building was presented with questionnaires asking for specific design criteria for each space in the building. These criteria were to include adjacency requirements, spatial needs, special power/ lighting/ environmental needs, acoustical requirements, and organizational issues as they relate to how instruction is delivered. Those questionnaires were returned to NTD, who after reviewing them, met with each department to get clarification on intent.