Soka University

Soka University

Idealized Academic Village 
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationAliso Viejo, California, United States
Size103 acres

When Japan-based Soka Gakkai International, one of the world’s largest lay Buddhist organizations, decided to establish a fully accredited liberal arts university in southern Orange County, SWA joined with the architects to create a setting that expresses the goals of the new university. Soka means “to create value” and the ideal of Soka education is to foster people who continuously strive for peace and the sanctity of life. The new campus combines an image of the ideal academic village with the beauties of a Tuscan hill town. In SWA’s master plan and landscape design for the 75-acre central campus, this melding of visual ideals becomes particularly apt because it is backed by a philosophy of ecological sustainability. The design establishes a compact development envelope that minimizes site disturbance, maximizes pedestrian circulation, and reduces the impact of utility installation. It allocates more than half the site to natural areas and open space and utilizes native plants, especially native oaks. Building placement minimizes the need for ventilation systems and artificial lighting. Parking acreage is minimized and incorporates curbless edges and water-filtering swales. The designers also wanted to preserve the character of the steep hilltop setting. The buildings–predominantly stucco with tile roofs–are terraced into the hillside, oriented to views of the surrounding hills with overlooks and view terraces, and kept to no more than three stories in height. The design challenge was creating a campus that felt from the beginning as if it were complete. The university is intended for 2,500 students and includes all of the academic and cultural amenities associated with contemporary higher education.

Related Projects

Tarrant County College

To meet the growing needs of the downtown and North Main communities in Fort Worth, Texas, SWA provided the master plan and landscape design for a new college campus to add to the Tarrant County College District. Designed to be constructed in a series of phases, the project aims to provide a stimulating and rewarding environment for students and the local comm...

Stanford Branner Hall

Branner Hall is a three-story undergraduate dormitory built in 1924 by Bakewell and Brown, prominent architects of the time who were also responsible for San Francisco’s City Hall. The renovation design creates two significant courtyards: an entrance courtyard flanked with four-decades-old magnolia trees shading a seating area and an interior courtyard with a ...

CREATE Campus, National University of Singapore

CREATE, the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise, is an international research campus and innovation hub at the National University of Singapore. Home to a vibrant scientific community, CREATE hosts the National Research Foundation, interdisciplinary research centers from top universities, and corporate laboratories such as the Singapore...

Stanford Toyon Hall

Toyon Hall, a significant historic building originally designed by Bakewell and Brown Architects in 1922, is a three-story structure centered around a magnificent formal courtyard with arcades and arches. The purpose of the project was to preserve, maintain and enhance the building and site. SWA scope of work included evaluation of existing site conditions and...

Stanford West Apartments

SWA has placed a special emphasis on maintaining the riparian corridor with native planting, using consideration when dealing with the archaeologically sensitive areas of the site, as well as existing recreation trails and landscape amenities such as parks and play areas. The internal street grid, architectural and landscape elements are designed to recall the...

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

This project regenerates a spectacular, historic cliff-side waterfront site by activating it with new purpose. Working carefully to interweave layers of preservation and natural beauty, the building and landscape work together to leave a light footprint. Today, a distinctive global campus honors the history of its earlier occupation while providing inspiration...

Stanford Branner Hall

Branner Hall is a three-story undergraduate dormitory built in 1924 by Bakewell and Brown, prominent architects of the time who were also responsible for San Francisco’s City Hall. The renovation design creates two significant courtyards: an entrance courtyard flanked with four-decades-old magnolia trees shading a seating area and an interior courtyard with a ...

Stanford University Terman Park

The removal of an existing building adjacent to the center of Stanford’s campus provided a unique opportunity to fashion an interim park space. The project emphasizes reuse and seeks to utilize salvaged materials as well as the existing grading and fountain as key features of the park. As a multifunctional performance and recreational space, the project ...

2019-09-05T23:54:26+00:00