Allied Works developed a proposal for a new Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz as part of an international competition. The Institute serves as a catalyst for interdisciplinary programs, and a venue to showcase new work by students and faculty. Serving as a forum for ideas from all areas of study, the new Institute is conceived as a front porch to the community, as well as a crossroads and connector at the heart of the campus.
Sited at the intersection of the three distinct ecological conditions—grasslands, oak ecotone, and second-growth redwood forest—Allied Works’ design amplifies the unique qualities and forces at work on the site. The building creates a transparent edge that moves along the forest boundary, flowing with its curves and contours while creating new gathering spaces and points of connection to the campus. The Institute operates as a spatial laboratory: a place in which to explore, and ultimately, to propose new ideas. In its siting, form and structure, the building is a framework for innovation and dialogue, a place to both generate new work and bring new ideas to light.