University of California, Riverside


Surge Building

Riverside, California

82,000 GSF, 7,618 M2

Architecture, Campus Planning, Interior Architecture, Programming


Growth in student populations typically outpaces built space to accommodate it, resulting in the frequent employment of portable and temporary classrooms that no one relishes using, least of all faculty and students. UC-Riverside instead elected to engage SmithGroupJJR to fast-track a permanent, high-quality facility that would enhance the campus rather than merely fill an urgent need.
The result is a three-story, flexible classroom structure and separate auditorium that resonates visually with this handsome campus. It also deftly weaves into its existing fabric, creating an attractive gateway and completing a new quad.

SmithGroupJJR delivered this permanent, adaptable “surge building” In a short time frame and at a very low cost, yet in a manner that fully serves the university’s mission and pedagogy. The auditorium, for example, incorporates cutting-edge amenities for interactive learning: wide aisles for student-teacher contact, digital white boards, overhead rear projectors, and ceiling-mounted voice-activated microphones, with amplification for increased intimacy and flexibility.