University of California Santa Barbara Interactive Learning Pavilion

Santa Barbara, California

Project Size:

95,000 square feet

Project Status:

Anticipated Completion 2023

LEED Status:

Targeting LEED New Construction Gold


Education Design, Urban Design

As the rapidly expanding University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus exceeded its existing classroom capacity, there was a strong need for the new 95,000 SFT classroom building, the Interactive Learning Pavilion. The new building will provide additional active learning space with 2,000 seats in 5 lecture halls, 3 active learning spaces, and 20 flexible classrooms. Located in the heart of the UCSB campus, between Los Padres National Forest and the Pacific Ocean, the Interactive Learning Pavilion is a porous structure open to the student community and the natural environment of the site.

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 near important centers of educational activity and the Library Mall, the building is activated by the iconic and extensive bicycle network of UCSB. Open to the campus and the ocean, the architecture and the material palette take advantage of the Southern California climate and echo the geological conditions of the seaside cliffs. The new Pavilion celebrates its spectacular, natural setting while expanding UCSB’s classroom capacity and establishing a new place for social interaction and innovation.