Founded in 1971 as the sixth college at UC Santa Cruz and informed by principles of participatory democracy, the design of Kresge College by legendary California architects Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, Whittaker and landscape architect Dan Kiley was inspired by a vernacular Italian hill town architecture. Consolidating 24 buildings on six acres within a sloped clearing in the redwood forest, it showed signs of physical deterioration and suffered from lack of accessibility and other code deficiencies. Despite the novel approach of its siting and layout organized around a ”main street” with building orientations and facades framing vistas to the natural environment, the existing college environment fell short of meeting the needs of the modern student.
Studio Gang in association with TEF Design developed a broad spectrum of strategies which arose from a planning and programming phase steeped in Kresge’s founding principles of community engagement. The college’s renewal as a vital living/learning community strengthens social cohesion, improves connectivity and circulation, and reinforces the essence of Kresge’s origin while accommodating the addition of 500 students. Its focus: bringing an academic presence back to Kresge, demonstrating natural and financial resource stewardship, and creating the circumstances that allow UCSC to provide the care, support, and privacy that undergraduate students require.
TEF is focused on the transformation of existing residential facilities and academic facilities including college program offices and mail, food and music coops, and student lounge.
This project re-imagines a sacred but obsolete residential and academic complex, transforming existing facilities and introducing new components that together will accommodate substantial growth, while honoring and elevating the vision of its original Charles Moore design.