California State Polytechnic University-Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) Student Housing and Dining Commons won a Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) Merit Award. This marks the project’s fifth award win this year. The project recently won an American Institute of Architects Inland California (AIAIC) Award of Honor, a Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) National Award of Merit, a San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC) award, and Engineering News-Record (ENR) California’s Excellence in Safety Award of Merit.

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. The collaborative design-build team consisted of HMC Architects (executive architect and housing design architect), EYRC Architects (dining commons architect), and Sundt Construction.

SARA is a vibrant professional organization of architects and industry partners focused on fellowship, friendship and mentorship guided by the mantra, “Architect Helping Architect.” The 2020 Architecture and Design Program saw 115 project submissions from 46 firms with 33 award-winning design projects chosen above the rest. To learn more and to see the full list of winners, visit SARA’s website.