Harvey Mudd College is an amazing place, a dynamic and constantly evolving mix of faculty, student, alumni and community activity. The form, space and materials of the new building are designed to reflect this dynamism. Rather than simply housing the academic work and creative endeavors that occur at HMC, the new building will be a showcase.
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This level houses HMC's new, state-of-the-art digital media and electronic music studios, as well as a number of the building's larger classrooms, including a lecture hall and an 85-person tiered classroom. The basement level also houses venues for musical and theatrical performances, as well as flexible gallery space for student and faculty artistic exhibitions.
The open-air courtyard is a highly flexible space that can be used for many types of events and gatherings. For example, it could support HMC's tradition of student-led Shakespearean theater, seating more than 350 people on the steps and flat floor area in front of the gallery. The glass walls of the gallery may even be opened out onto the courtyard to reveal the space and serve as a stage or backdrop for outdoor performances.
As the crossroads for academic and social activity, the building is designed to receive audiences from multiple sides. At the ground level, two separate "arms" create the large central courtyard. Classrooms and social spaces orbit around the courtyard, borrowing light, air and views from this dynamic gathering place.
On the southeast corner of the ground level is a 300-person auditorium, a glass-enclosed space that "steps down" with the courtyard. A well-attended lecture in the auditorium could be simulcast to a series of other spaces, such as the 100-person performance space, or the 85-person tiered classrooms. The auditorium is accessible from both the basement and ground levels, creating a two-story lobby rich with opportunities for larger events.
Student-oriented spaces, such as the café, student living room, and Writing Center are situated on the south side of the building, readily accessible from the Great Mall. More public-oriented areas, such as the Office of Admission and Financial Aid, are located on the north side, nearest the pedestrian entrance on Foothill Boulevard.
The second and third levels of the building include a mix of classrooms, breakout spaces and faculty offices to promote interaction among members of the HMC community. Small benches and nooks along the circulation paths provide spaces for students to congregate before and after class. Breakout rooms offer still more opportunities for conversation and collaboration. Interdisciplinary faculty office clusters are located near teaching spaces that include an array of classroom sizes to support a range of pedagogies and learning styles. The Office of the President sits one level above the Office of Admission and Financial Aid in the northeast corner.
On the third level are two distinct, open-air terraces. Both terraces will be prewired for the future installation of photovoltaic solar panels to augment the building's energy needs.
The south terrace is intended as an "active" space and features a vine-covered pergola to shade outdoor classes and events. At the southwest corner sits the "prow," a large, transparent glass 50-person classroom with near panoramic views of campus and offering immediate access to the open-air terraces—an ideal space for large gatherings and special events.
The north terrace is intended as a quiet, contemplative space. Looking outward to the San Gabriel Mountains, it will be landscaped with drought-tolerant, California native plants.