University of California, Santa Cruz

SABA performed studies for a 12,500 SF early education center on the UC Santa Cruz campus to serve 140 children in a Family Student Housing development. The project presented numerous interesting challenges and opportunities including Triple Net Zero sustainability requirements, energy modeling and stakeholder presentations to increase community comfort with the proposed land use. Utilizing the “Great Meadow” site, as referred to by the students, the project strives to reintroduce native plants and trees to preserve the overall green feel of the site. The design extends the learning environment outdoors to areas of play. The team has created an outdoor classroom for each age group designed with emphasis on natural exploration. The planning process included interfacing with the Psychology department at UCSC to integrate observation rooms for graduate research, establishing a direct relationship between the playful learning environment of children and the intellectual world of the University.