Skip to main content
ATAS Building, Saddleback College
Mission Viejo, CA
Using exhibition and maker spaces to expose students to new ideas.
Diverse curriculum on display.
The new Advanced Technology and Applied Science (ATAS) building at Saddleback College is a 52,100 SF facility that supports multiple modalities of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile) in career technical education (CTE) and more traditional disciplines. Here, students and community are invited to engage in a space where creativity and creation are on display, encouraging a sense of connection and belonging among students, campus, and community. The design of the ATAS building showcases the diverse curriculum provided by the architectural drafting, computer technologies and maintenance, graphic design and communication, environmental sciences, marine biology studies, advanced manufacturing, and horticulture departments.

Upon arrival, dual funnel-shaped entry porches contain benches, hardscapes and fanning lines that originate at the entry doors – focusing the approach, and shifting attention towards labs, classrooms, and the courtyard green. A terra cotta wall moves with visitors from exterior to interior, slipping through a glass plane; uniting the entry porch and the social hub – the collaborative heart of the building. That same wall weaves into the eastern courtyard where an amphitheater embraces expansive views of the Trabuco Arroyo and Santa Ana mountains.

Exposed building systems and transparent maker and exhibition spaces invite students to encounter ideas beyond their own curriculum. Maker spaces are located for maximum accessibility and deep connections to other disciplines and the natural environment. An accessible and a highly visible faculty space is located in the center of the social hub along with ample impromptu gathering spaces encouraging serendipitous and casual interaction of students, staff and faculty both in and out of classrooms, fueling a spirit of openness and collaboration.
Saddleback College's ATAS Building has been selected as a 2023 winner in the DBIA's Western Pacific Region annual Design Build Awards Program.
Landscaping is focused on creating opportunities for outdoor learning. Native, drought tolerant flora takes in recycled water to emulate a riparian river flow and permeate a design that contains outdoor classrooms, rainwater display elements, and informal seating areas.
Outdoor maker spaces at the perimeter of the ground floors are surrounded by landscaping that will create a green screen that limits views towards campus parking lots.
Site orientation, geometric relationships between adjacent masses and an aggressive self-shading strategy all lower loads on the building.
Most of the campus is located on an upper mesa populated with academic core buildings which offer stunning views of Arroyo Trabuco
Using exhibition and maker spaces to expose students to new ideas.
ATAS Building, Saddleback College
Mission Viejo, CA