building exterior

UCSC Digital Arts Research Center

UCSC Digital Arts Research Center | Santa Cruz, California

DPR constructed the new Digital Arts Building at University of California, Santa Cruz, which included approximately 24,000 sq. ft. of office space, conference rooms, studio, research and teaching space. The showcase space is the media lab, a two-story flex space that can be used for a variety of purposes.



The project entailed construction of a ground-up, structural steel building nestled into the hillside. The team had to excavate the site and remediate sinkholes common to the campus. To further protect the structure, it was built on micropiles and utilized Buckling Reinforced Brace Frames to withstand seismic activity.

The interior of the building is full of exposed concrete, ductwork and piping. The mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) coordination had to be perfect to ensure that these elements would be aesthetically pleasing. The flex space sits on a raised floor and is designed with acoustics in mind.

Built in the middle of an operating campus in the middle of the school year, great care was taken to minimize disruption to student and faculty activities. Working closely with campus officials, disruptive activities have been timed to avoid affecting day-to-day operations. Additionally, the project team took great care to protect all trees on campus, as well as designed and implemented a comprehensive Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

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