A project that came about through an innovative approach to designing campus facilities.
Gerard Lee, AIA took the time to study and understand the particular needs of the students, staff, faculty and administration of DVC.
Initially the Contra Costa College District requested proposals from architecture firms regarding its new college bookstore project, Gerard
decided that an overall masterplan approach should be taken for the good of the campus and its students.
After much thought, research and design, we presented the concept that not only should a bookstore be designed but it was an opportunity
to clean up the college quadrangle which formed the heart of the campus. A master plan was presented that involved creating a new loading dock that
would serve both the new bookstore and the existing Hotel and Restaurant Management educational facilities and student cafeteria.
It would remove the presence of vehicular traffic on the "Quad" and help keep the students safe. Furthermore trash and mechanical enclosures would be removed and landscaping introduced. This was not a single building approach but a sustainable design strategy that looked to the future needs and safety of the college inhabitants.
Our design approach and methodology is akin to added value for any project. Creative thinking and innovation have been hallmarks of our design team. While to most people a loading dock is a utilitarian structure, we worked with the existing topography and structural materials to provide a design that would blend with the environment, be contemporary and achieve an aesthetique far beyond what most loading docks would be. The loading dock services two separate buildings and is buried underneath the new college bookstore. Secure storage is provided and an office with good visual fields is located near the entrance for security. The dock was designed to accomodate large trailers and has an adjustable loading ramp for smaller trucks.
By burying the loading dock, we managed to minimize it's impact to the campus and allowed unblocked views of the large pond and landscaped areas. At the same time, the temperature of the interior spaces is tempered by using the earth as a heat sink. This in turn helps to moderate the climate of the bookstore above. Using a holistic approach this loading dock manages to do more than its primary functions but also serves as a sustainable climate control element.
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.
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.