CO Architects, just as their name implies ‘co- a prefix meaning: together with; jointly; equally’, is renowned “equally” for all the projects in their vast category portfolio of institutional, civic, academic, healthcare, medical education, and science and technology buildings.
Established in 1986, the firm was founded as the regional office of Anshen + Allen which, a decade later became an autonomous office. It currently operates out of two offices; with its headquarters based in Los Angeles and a collaborative office in San Diego. They preen themselves on designing buildings that are at once visually striking and enrich the lives of all people who use them.
Below is the list of 15 Projects:
1. Cal Poly Pomona Student Services Building, California.
Lead Architect of the firm, L. Paul Zajfen led the planning and design of the Students Services Building, which serves as the front door to the campus. The building is magnificently designed, keeping the context of surrounding mountains continuing in the undulating roof. The overhangs shading the glass facade not only takes care of the reduction in thermal load and glare but also invites the soft daylight in the offices and workspaces. The protrusions in the roof also provide the building with the North facing lighting. A pedestrian walkway sheltered beneath the roof, bisects the building creating an interesting space within.
2. Phoenix Biomedical Campus: Health Sciences Education Building, Arizona.
Designed as a metaphor to a canyon, Phoenix Biomedical Campus Health Sciences Education Building serves as a medical and healthcare training facility for the University of Arizona (UA) College of Medicine, Phoenix, in partnership with Northern Arizona University (NAU). The orientation of the building and placement of fenestrations is carefully thought in order to minimize the harsh sun of Arizona. The two wings of the building are designed to form a canyon. The material palette of the building is chosen to blend in with the context.
3. UC San Diego Health Outpatient Pavilion, California.
A Gold LEED-certified project designed by the firm is planned in two wings connected through a public spine and the grand staircase is strategically positioned to connect the naturally ventilated public spaces. The daylight penetration is deep within the building, reducing the dependency of artificial lighting in several areas.
4. University of Kansas: Medical Centre Health Education Building, Kansas.
The avant-garde educational building stands as an icon in comparison with the existing buildings on the site. The six-storey high, monolithic looking brick-clad building with clear insulated glass combination, complements as well as contrasts the pre-existing structures in the surrounding. The planning of each floor is done keeping in mind the student’s sociability, teamwork, and community. The building also features a 250-foot long glass-enclosed bridge spanning between the East and West wings.
5. Shriners for Children Medical Center, California.
The building is designed in a manner that suits the ecological and cultural aspects of Pasadena. The horizontal contemporary style architecture with the clear vista of the foothills and region sensitive therapeutic outdoors is accurately suiting the modernist style of Pasadena. The internal courtyard in the building is an important feature to draw in the daylight. All the rooms and lobbies have been designed to be child-centric.
6. Porterville Courthouse, California.
Completed in 2013, Porterville Courthouse consists of a nine-courtroom, administrative offices, judicial chambers, in-custody-capable courthouse with holding facilities, waiting areas, a jury assembly room, and public outreach space. The design of this courtroom is iconic unlike the conventional idea of courtrooms, in such a way that it captures the eye of the users. The building displays a large expanse of glass panels which not only connect the building to its outdoors but also internally eases way-finding and helps in guiding the user.
7. Los Angeles Natural History Museum, California.
The redesigning of the North Campus, undertaken by the firm, is more of a transitional experience of outdoor spaces, public areas, and the exhibition spaces. The idea was to design an interactive and contextually compatible museum. A noteworthy feature of the museum was the whalebone shaped pedestrian bridge which is considered to be the front yard of the design. The design also provides gardens and outdoor learning environments.
8. Loyola Marymount University Life Sciences Building, California.
Unlike the traditional idea of classroom learning and indoor laboratory research pattern in buildings, this institute is designed to have more interactive spaces to carry out research discussions while enjoying the space. Some of the striking features of the design are the communal spaces, the state of the art auditorium, accessible green roof, and its large courtyard. The mismatched facades are treated well as per the orientation and direction.
9. LAUSD San Pedro High School: Olguin Campus, California.
The integration of the project objectives such as “collaborative learning”, “communal interaction,” and “sustainability” enhanced the design to produce a building that acts as a daily teaching tool. The school is known for generating its own electricity through photovoltaic and wind turbine technology. The consumption of electricity is however low because of the efficient techniques adapted such as cool roofs, operative windows that let in the maximum amount of daylight, etc.
10. ASU Health Futures Center, Arizona.
With the new-fashioned concept of an open learning environment, the design evolved in a manner that removes the barriers between the faculty and the students. The building is designed to support the various teaching methods, research activities, and interaction through flexible and innovative spaces. The trapezoidal facade is designed to decrease the direct sun rays penetrating inside.
11. Claremont McKenna College Residence Hall, California.
The Crown Hall is famous for being the first LEED-certified building in the college, with sustainability as the key driver of the design. Some of the peculiar sustainable approach features can be its solid bearing wall construction; a thermally insulated, glazed building envelope; site orientation to maximize light; use of sun shading, and day-lighting strategies; water-efficient plumbing fixtures; and drought-tolerant landscaping.
12. Kaiser Permanente Panorama City South Specialty MOB, California.
The transition of spaces is the most important design aspect of this rectilinear building: public to private; transparent to opaque. It is connected to the hospital building through an intimate exterior courtyard and the atrium. The glazed facade of the building captures the favorable sun rays and provides the users with an unobstructed view of the courtyard.
13. California State University: Channel Islands Science Building, California.
Blending with the historic California Mission and Spanish Revival-style campus, Sierra Hall accommodates laboratories and classrooms for students. It features a chilled beam system to condition the space, LED lighting, and natural ventilation for lighting and ventilation solutions.
14. Palomar Medical Center, California.
The state of art building is famous countrywide for its innovative sustainable design approach. The designers have tried and implemented the maximum amount of water conservation, air quality, and energy-saving measures. The 11-storey high nursing building has garden spaces at each and every level.
15. Columbia University: School of Nursing, New York.
Completed in 2017, the building is famous for its transparent facade with a pop of color that catches the eye of the passerby. It provides the students with dynamic interactive learning opportunities and a green roof that provides outdoor access overlooking the context, amidst the urban setup.