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College of Marin Academic Center

TLCD Architecture, Mark Cavagnero Associates

Project Status



47,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost

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Project Description


The new Academic Center transforms a prominent site on the College of Marin’s Kentfield Campus. The design engages three generations of buildings and landscape on a sloped, wooded site and restores the existing historic quad on campus. At the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and College Avenue, the 47,000 square foot facility is a welcoming gateway to the surrounding community. The program includes 16 classrooms, two computer labs, 100-seat lecture hall, and faculty and staff offices.

The building steps down to respect the existing contours of the site and the scale of the surrounding residential and commercial context. A grove of specimen and heritage oak and redwood trees were preserved on the site. The north edge of the building and the majestic redwoods frame a new open view into the campus that welcomes the public and creates an exciting identity for the college at this major intersection.

The new building restores open space; it is organized around a main skylit central atrium and a large courtyard. The building is carefully sited to help restore the Great Lawn of the original campus master plan—which had been compromised over the years—with a central axis oriented toward the stunning views of Mt. Tamalpais. The atrium brings light into the central space and is naturally ventilated. Covered open air circulation runs along three sides of the courtyard providing clear and protected access to all parts of the building while lending focus to the many opportunities for gathering within the academic court.
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