California State Polytechnic University-Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) Student Housing and Dining Commons has won a National Award of Merit in the Educational Facilities category from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). As a result of this honor, the project is automatically a nominee for the National Award of Excellence in the Educational Facilities category, the highest honor within each category.

The collaborative design-build team consisted of HMC Architects (executive architect and housing design architect), EYRC Architects (dining commons architect), and Sundt Construction. When the team envisioned a new design for Cal Poly Pomona, our key underlying objective was to create intimate environments that keep students on campus and encourage them to feel part of a community. The new residential towers and dining commons serve as a highly visible entry point into the campus. The two mid-rise student housing buildings interlace shared social spaces, natural light, and open connections throughout the entire eight floors of each structure. Every floor has two 35-student households, providing many places to congregate, socialize, and study. A diversity of connections between indoors and outdoors is a defining feature. Ground-floor amenities are connected to outdoor spaces, promoting socialization and wellness. Balconies on the fifth floor connect students living on upper floors to the outdoors, while living rooms and lounges use full-height glass to queue students into the social activities happening inside. Bedrooms feature abundant natural light while hallways end in views toward the campus and capture amazing views of the San Gabriel Mountains. Every nook and in-between space is designed for informal gathering where students can interact and make life-long connections. Warm materials, residential lighting and large communal tables resonate with the warmth of home for students in the new 650-seat dining commons located at the campus entrance and gateway to the housing community. As part of a broader campus amenity, private eating areas and conference rooms equip the dining hall and accommodate late night diners.

This design could not have been built any other way but with design-build. From a student’s first impression of the campus to their budding social connections and engagement with campus life, and ultimately their academic success, our team used its deep experience to deliver a world-class residential life project. Working together seamlessly as a single, fully integrated team, the Sundt/HMC/EYRC team delivered Cal Poly Pomona a thoughtful and timeless project through a collaborative experience built upon open communication and meaningful dialogue.

“From rapid response COVID-19 medical units to delivering essential infrastructure that strengthens our nation, design-build continues to play a vital role in building our communities. This year’s Design-Build Project/Team Award winners are the best examples of how the power of collaboration and innovation is transforming the way we design and build,” said Lisa Washington, CAE, DBIA Executive Director/CEO.

DBIA’s 2020 award-winning projects were evaluated by a distinguished panel of design-build experts. All winners will be announced at DBIA’s Design-Build Conference and Expo Awards Ceremony on October 29th.  A full list of project winners, including photos and descriptions of each project can be found online at DBIA’s Project/Team Awards page.