Bakersfield College’s new HMC-designed Science and Engineering Building won a Greater Bakersfield Chamber Beautiful Bakersfield Award in the Architecture and Design category.

The $40 million, 70,000 SF, three-story building is home to chemistry, engineering, physics, and biology classrooms and labs and doubles the lab capacity on campus. The design reimagines the courtyard building typical of the Bakersfield campus into a vertical atrium, a beacon for scientific observation, discovery, and learning. HMC designed the facility as a place to see things differently and explore innovative ideas. Soundproof wall panels in the form of an abstract tree art installation, and asymmetrical window placements encourage curiosity and exploration. The open and vertical atrium maximizes the narrow site with simple lines reminiscent of the original mid-century modern campus buildings. Stadium seating in the lobby provides students a space to study or watch a presentation, whiteboards throughout the building encourage collaboration, and the open atrium puts learning on display. Supported by the Bakersfield community and funded by Measure J, the new building demonstrates the college’s growth and commitment to future STEM leaders.

The annual awards program honors the buildings, organizations, and individuals who work to improve the city of Bakersfield. The Architecture and Design category celebrates a new interior and/or exterior building design that integrates environment, space, and materials. To learn more about the awards program and see the full list of winners, visit the Greater Bakersfield Chamber’s website.