University of California Irvine Anteater Learning Pavilion

Irvine, California

Project Size:

94,139 square feet

Project Status:

Completed 2018

LEED Status:

Certified LEED New Construction Platinum


Education Design

The Anteater Learning Pavilion serves the university’s multi-departmental active learning program and promotes its key academic tenets: exploring, discovering, advancing theories, testing ideas and collaborating. The project marks a continuation of LMN and Hathaway Dinwiddie’s successful design-build collaborations at the university which include the addition to the Paul Merage School of Business and the recently completed University Extension Classroom Building, all targeting LEED Platinum and advancing themes of team-based learning and diverse community interaction.

Site and Program
Set within UC Irvine’s Ring Mall campus plan that surrounds the circular Aldrich Park green space, the site accommodates heavy pedestrian flow of up to 1,300 students during class breaks, organized by a cohesive network of pathways and entry plazas between academic halls. Building entrances on multiple sides face inward to the park and outward to access roads and campus gateways, requiring a holistic approach to building circulation with a careful composition of gathering spaces to capture the energy of informal social interaction for active learning experiences outside the classroom. The program includes offices for the university’s active learning resources and specially designed and equipped classrooms and lecture halls, interspersed with student lounges, breakout areas, and plazas.

The design approach makes the case that active learning—a pedagogical approach that emphasizes student engagement in the learning process—is taken to its highest level when it extends outside the classroom and into the surrounding campus neighborhood. The building weaves its internal academic experience together with the fabric of the campus, celebrating student activity and collaboration with a network of generous indoor and outdoor pathways and informal gathering spaces.

The facility consists of two main program blocks, a lecture hall pavilion and a classroom/office wing. The two lecture halls are stacked in an elliptically-shaped pavilion, creating a distinctive presence in the landscape with an open stair and trellised walkway wrapping around the exterior. The classrooms and offices form a 3-story block, surrounded by a glass-enclosed mixing hall and lounge on all levels. Between the two structures, a highly porous and transparent vertical circulation space invites mingling within the building as well as with the campus community through furnished and landscaped exterior plazas. High-traffic classrooms and student-oriented spaces spill into light-filled interaction zones accommodating both large-scale movement and intimate breakout spaces, while capturing expansive views to Aldrich Park and the broader campus landscape.