UC Santa Barbara, Interactive Learning Pavilion - Exterior

Interactive Learning Pavilion
University of California, Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara, California


University of California, Santa Barbara

Collaborators +

General Contractor: C.W. Driver

Structural Engineering: Saiful Bouquet, Inc.

MEP Engineering: Integral Group

Civil Engineering: Stantec

Landscape Architecture: Arcadia Studio, Inc.

Lighting Design: Integral Group

Graphics/Signage: Entro

Project Size

95,000 square feet

Project Status



Certified LEED New Construction Gold


Architecture, Interior Design, Planning

As the rapidly expanding University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus exceeded its existing classroom capacity, there was a strong need for the new Interactive Learning Pavilion. The building will provide additional active learning space in 5 lecture halls, 3 active learning spaces, and 20 flexible classrooms. Located in the heart of the campus, between Los Padres National Forest and the Pacific Ocean, the building is a porous structure open to the community and the natural environment.

The project is composed of two main volumes with a central circulation corridor open to the exterior with terraces, stairs, and collaboration spaces. This open-air ‘street’ space interconnects the functions of the two volumes and encourages serendipitous interactions among students and faculty. The interactive nature of the active-learning classrooms will help animate the interior and exterior spaces of the building and create a vibrant hub of educational activity.

Inspired by the history of UCSB and its seascape vistas, the building has been envisioned as a microcosm of the societal and natural conditions around the site. The university prides itself on being a leader in social change and the building has been designed to foster dialogue with surrounding public spaces which have been conceived as extensions of life on campus. Positioned at a prominent location and close to the Library Mall, the building is activated by the extensive bicycle network. Open to the campus and the ocean, the architecture and the material palette take advantage of the climate and echo the geological conditions of the seaside cliffs. The Interactive Learning Pavilion celebrates its spectacular, natural setting while expanding UCSB’s classroom capacity and establishing a new place for social interaction and innovation.

UC Santa Barbara, Interactive Learning Pavilion - Exterior

Facing the building’s internal public spaces, the building takes a radically different form by sculpting the shared exterior terraces with a more loose, organic formal language, driven by the efficient planning of the lecture halls within.

“As a campus with a reputation for pioneering interdisciplinary teaching and research, this new classroom building will provide spaces that encourage collaborative education and promote faculty-student interactions.”

– Gene Lucas, Chair, Executive Vice Chancellor Emeritus