Mass Timber at the Forest Edge

UC Santa Cruz Heller Graduate Student Housing

Santa Cruz, CA

Integrating Ecology and Emerging Technologies

Located in the ecotone between Redwood forest and meadow grasslands, this new campus housing community takes inspiration from the rich natural setting and university’s ambitious environmental goals. The design incorporates mass timber structure, panelized and pre-fabrication systems, passive-first design strategies and biophilic elements to yield Triple Net Zero performance and enhance resident health.

Connecting Community and Place

The building’s three residential wings are joined by an open-air connector that highlights the heart of the community while providing vertical circulation, outdoor social nodes and a grand overlook with vistas to Monterey Bay. A mix of studio apartments and two-bedroom living units offer residents a range of privacy levels, in balance with shared amenity spaces for communal dining and lounging at the ends of each wing.

Gateway to Student Housing West

The building provides a gateway experience at the south end of the Student Housing West development, connecting students with main campus and a series of linked courtyards and portals that step up the hillside and unite this growing residential community.

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