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Diablo Valley College new Bookstore- aerial views of model

Diablo Valley College New College Bookstore, Pleasant Hill, CA

Initially a single stand alone project, Gerard Lee, AIA, as project manager used his intimate knowledge of the campus and his background as an instructor to propose that a masterplan approach be used in the best interest of the campus. DVC liked the master plan approach and awarded the remodel of the adjacent Student Activities/ cafeteria building housing their Hotel and Restaurant Management program to BSA. A joint use loading dock facility was created to efficiently service both buildings. The central quad was cleaned up and pedestrian safety improved. The Bookstore is approximately 16,500sf. It consist of two levels plus a basement storage facility attached to the loading dock. The sales floor is double height with skylights and a large north facing curtain wall for natural day lighting. A walkway runs along the curtain wall and creates a natural study/ seating area for students to look out over the "quad" while enjoying a latte. The latest design trends in retail sales were incorporated to help the bookstore increase sales. A convenience store was designed as part of the facility to enable students to access non academic supplies during the weekends. A cafe/ coffee bar was intergrated within the store. Canopies are used extensively on the west and south facades to protect students who queue up for returns and buyback.
All deadlines were met and the project was efficiently stewarded through the DSA (Division of State Architect) review process because of Gerard's strong experience in educational facilities within the state of California, his attention to detail and reputation for doing consistent quality work. DSA reviewers for accessibility and structure had praised the documentation of the building for its quality. A significant comment overheard was, "These are one of the good guys."

Sustainable design features:
While the building has a modern vocabulary there are many sustainable/ "green" design features utilized throughout the building. Optimum site orientation that meets functionality and energy performance. The large north facing windows allow in natural daylighting which in turn creates a pleasant environment to work or shop in. We believe that this will help increase sales as opposed to retail facilities that rely largely on artificial/ electrical lighting. The building was carefully sited so that the natural grades and landscaping will shield the north facing windows from the summer setting sun. In addition there are large 4'x4' insulated translucent skylights that help bring in diffuse daylight into the interior recesses of the store. Research has shown that retail facilities with higher levels of daylighting tend to have a higher sales level in comparison with similar outlets with no daylighting. The retail level has stained and sealed concrete floors (which also utilize flyash as a recycled material). Glazing was minimized on the western face of the building to limit heat gain and to lower the buildings energy consumption. The low slope roof has a low albedo roofing system to cut down on solar heat gain. The loading dock/storage area is constructed from concrete and partialy buried to create a heat sink. This will help temper the building's micro climate/ ecosystem.
To view construction photos of the bookstore, please click on this link.
This is a © BSA Architects project.

Gerard Lee, AIA was the project manager and played a strong role as one of the lead designers at the Associate level at BSA Architects for this project. The clean lines and modern design of this building has helped them gain a foothold in the community college market. He was the primary client contact because of his intimate knowledge of the campus and educational background. His involvement included the pursuit and eventual award of the project (among a field of 25 architectural firms), the subsequent design and management of the design till the start of construction.
The selection by the clients of his conceptual design of the building elevations, which defined the overall shape, forms and significant design features of the bookstore was probably one of his most pleasant experiences working on community colleges.

Compare the 3D rendering with the finish product by moving your mouse over the main image above. A testimony to good design documentation is when the completed building actually reflects what was envisioned two/ three years ago. Too many buildings end up looking anything but what was shown in the pretty rendering. With Gerard Lee, careful detailing and good technical experience coupled with design skills will provide you with a better product.

Diablo Valley College New College Bookstore celebrated it's opening, Fall 2006 Semester. To view latest images Click here.

Copyright © 2005 Gerard Lee Architects. All rights reserved.

-last updated June 2,2007