The Community Foundation Santa Cruz County in Aptos, Calif., has a new permanent home in a $9.3 million center designed by San Francisco–based Mark Cavagnero Associates. The client wanted the 10,000-square-foot building—which houses offices, conference rooms, a resource library, and large community meeting room—to be both flexible and to embody the group’s commitment to sustainable design.
Sited on a steeply sloped and non-orthogonal site, the LEED Gold building consists of two wings, connected by a steel bridge structure. The two-story north wing is a concrete parallelogram housing the foundation’s offices; the volume’s form is a result of the required setbacks and maximizes the allowable square footage. The south wing, which houses the community meeting rooms and is topped by a roof terrace, is a single-story box clad in FSC-certified cedar siding. The complex backs into the apex of the natural slope of the site, creating a single-story façade along the street—consistent with the massing of its retail neighbors—while the building’s full elevation is revealed on its east façade, where the public parking and main entry are located. The lobby occupies the first level of the connector bridge.“It’s really a well-done and interesting project in terms of its proportion and consideration of the relationship to the street,” juror Hilary Sample said.
Inside, exposed concrete walls and ceilings are tempered by wood paneling in the library and some meeting rooms. “There’s a real continuity between exterior and interior,” juror Trey Trahan said. Bringing the outside in was important to the architects: Ninety percent of the building employs natural ventilation and daylight.
Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, Aptos, Calif.
Client Community Foundation Santa Cruz
Architect Mark Cavagnero Associates, San Francisco—Mark Cavagnero, FAIA (principal-in-charge, lead designer); Kang Kiang, AIA (project director); Brandon Joo (project architect)
General Contractor Devcon Construction—Doug Maher (project manager)
Project and Construction Manager Nova Partners—Chris Thompson (project manager)
Civil Engineering Ifland Engineers—Glen Ifland (vice president)
Structural Engineering Jon Brody Structural Engineers—Jon Brody (principal)
Mechanical Engineering (Design/Build) Airtec Services—Dave Olson (president)
Electrical Engineering, Lighting, and A/V (Design/Build) Triad Electric—Michael Termini (president)
Plumbing Engineering Castro Plumbing Services—Steve Hanson (project manager)
Landscape Architecture Joni L Janecki & Associates—Joni Janecki (principal)
Acoustical Design Charles M. Salter Associates—Tom Schindler (vice president)
LEED Consulting Enovity—Greg Cunningham (principal)
Size 10,000 square feet
Photograph Tim Griffith Photographer