Foothill College
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Update of Original SWA Design

Location Los Altos, California

Scope Planning, Landscape Architecture


The Campus Center and the new South Slope buildings are the first addition to the Foothill College campus since its original SWA-Peter Walker design in the 1960s. The campus is replacing its current Student Center buildings that sit on an earthquake fault. The Campus Center buildings are located on the Loop Road and the landscape helps redefine this ceremonial entrance. An orchard of purple leaf plums defines the front slope and pays homage to the original orchard and farm that was on the land before the college. The design provides a main plaza with a stage for concerts and presentations and offers dramatic views to the neighboring hills beyond the stage. Students have an open plaza for lunch, studying and various outdoor events. There is an outdoor room off the student lounge giving serene space for students within an evergreen forest with tall dominating cedars and smaller Japanese maples. Camellias and azaleas will provide color and help screen the nearby plaza.