The Center of Student Life

University of California, Irvine Middle Earth Expansion

Irvine, CA

Where Meadow Meets Sky

The Middle Earth Expansion weaves a new living/learning community into the larger campus fabric. Two residential towers rise above a mixed use podium and richly landscaped base, echoing the natural form and color of the region’s limestone canyons.

Inspiring Links

In the street-level podium, a vibrant dining center supports student wellness with fresh menus and teaching platforms. Bridging over the podium, Link Lounge is a central gathering space on each residential floor that unites the towers socially and physically. These lounges are the heart of residential life, with sweeping views to Aldrich Park and across the Middle Earth neighborhood.

Connecting People and Place

Centrally located along the campus Ring Road, the gateway project preserves vistas and offers diverse pathways to access or pass through Middle Earth. Lingering is welcome along an elevated passage courtyard that connects students with the outdoors and the building’s extensive second-level academic amenities.

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