Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University sought to create a collaborative learning environment with the new Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation that would mirror the entrepreneurial mindset of the surrounding region. The 270,000 square foot facility will co-locate 13 academic departments from the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Science to establish an integrated center for transformational STEM education at Santa Clara University.


To better prepare students for success in the dynamic workplace of the future, students will be encouraged to think expansively and collaboratively about the world through the interdisciplinary setting of the building. The building layout will establish learning neighborhoods for cross-discipline inquiry that extend horizontally and connect vertically. Significant attention is paid to the placement of classrooms and collaboration spaces with the intent to pull students of all fields of study through the various floors of science, engineering, and technology labs, offering visual and physical engagement in the broad range of STEM disciplines and activities. Collaborative spaces are deliberately located at key intersections on each floor with direct access to vertical circulation, daylight, and views.


Drawing inspiration from the existing Mission Style heritage of the campus, limestone exterior walls complement the color and texture of Santa Clara’s traditional masonry and stucco construction. Red tile roofs, with simple geometric forms, continue and reinforce the campus palette, providing rich color and texture for the new facility.


The U-shaped complex will feature a central courtyard space surrounded by the three wings of the new building. The outdoor area is activated by ground floor access to a café with indoor and outdoor dining and provides a variety of spaces for quiet study and group interactions. A unique double height maker space will face the courtyard to display the creative energy of students as they ideate and fabricate projects and prototypes.