Sacramento City College is the oldest higher learning institution in the Los Rios Community College District and the Sacramento region. Built in the 1960s, the existing Mohr Hall is a single story building on a prominent corner that differs from the rest of the campus architecture and occupies the space of two potential buildings. It houses the Physical Science and Nursing programs and has several deficiencies that cannot be readily corrected. Our challenge was to create an interior environment to facilitate modern lab, teaching and student gathering spaces with an exterior aesthetic responsive to the architectural vocabulary already established on campus – two stories, brick, concrete, and terracotta clay tile. The new Mohr Hall will occupy the western portion of the existing site, leaving space for a future two-story building to the east.
The new building incorporates passive solar features such as deep overhangs and vertical fins to help shield from low sun angles. A series of outdoor gathering spaces and landscape features better connect with the existing circulation of campus. The centrally located building entrance incorporates a feature donor wall and benches using wood reclaimed from trees on site. Just outside the geology lab is an outdoor learning space that incorporates a rock garden from the colleges’ vast specimen collection. Student gathering spaces are located on both floors, designed to allow students to casually interact with each other and faculty. Lab spaces are located on the east side allowing for access to the courtyard and outdoor spaces, including those utilized by allied health students for training.