Barbara Lee Center for Science and Allied Health
Transformative discovery and learning
Situated on a dramatic site overlooking San Francisco Bay, this new center is a defining addition to the Merritt College campus. The college's history of social action was a guiding force behind the development of the program, with an emphasis on promoting success within allied health and the basic sciences at this community college.
Flad produced bridging documents for development of this facility which features student-centered collaboration spaces, simulation facilities centered on team learning in hospital patient environments, and flexible classroom and teaching labs focused on the life sciences, physical sciences, and mathematics.
With sustainable design as a defined goal from the project's outset, the building has achieved LEED Gold certification through thoughtful integration of solutions for issues such as acoustics, lighting, indoor air quality, access to daylight, and exposure to exterior views – all working in tandem to enhance the educational experience. These and other energy-saving features have produced a 28-percent energy savings.
Additionally, the building's design was engaged to tell the story of science. Mitigating solar exposure, a series of exterior sunscreens graphically depict the 28 varieties of mitochondrial DNA – effectively representing all the world's people and signaling the college's commitment to represent diversity in the design.