Kevin O'Brien | Architect
courtyard / event space
dining / event space
UC Riverside Alumni & Visitor Center
The site for the new Alumni & Visitors Center is bordered by a secluded natural arroyo preserve on one side, and on the other by Canyon Crest Drive – a main entry point to the UC Riverside campus. The 12,000sf program includes a large reception Lobby, Café, and Dining Area, and more private spaces such as the Meeting Rooms, Library, Boardroom, Private Dining area. A small catering kitchen will service all the spaces of the Alumni & Visitors Center. The University has stated the need for the Center to serve both as a prominent public gateway to campus as well as offer private functions to its alumni organization in an intimate setting. The design strives to recognize and celebrate this duality.
As a vital component to the campus, the Center serves as a bridge between life as a student and that as an alumnus. The proposed design is organized into predominantly public and private areas, which are then oriented to the corresponding public / private zones of the site. The desire to enhance the visual and functional link of the Center both to campus and to the arroyo guided the design of the project. As a result, the form of the building shifts subtly toward the direction of the campus, and forms a direct visual link with the future Arts Plaza and the University’s symbolic Carillon Tower. This connection is reinforced by the placement of the exterior Events Plaza – carved from the corner of the Center’s simple form – and conceived as an exterior living room of the facility. Alternatively, the more private Meeting Rooms, Library, and Boardroom embrace the arroyo’s more secluded setting, with exterior patios that extend the perceived interior space of these functions. The Project has been awarded LEED Gold.
*While Design Principal with HMC Architects