Originally conducting business as Nargis & Darden Architects, the firm was later incorporated as Edwin S. Darden Associates and finally the current Darden Architects. Early works supported the burgeoning communities of the California San Joaquin Valley through provision of high-quality design and excellent customer service.
This foundation was further strengthened by the continued leadership of Edwin S. Darden Junior. Retaining the core values prevalent in the work of the firm, Ed Jr. wove into the fabric of our services a passion for design excellence and innovation.
Here are 15 projects by Darden Architects –
1. Edison High School Academic Building, Fresno, United States
The school building is designed to restore the visual identity that has been missing since the demolition of the original building in the 1970s. The elevated glass windows and imposing ceiling gripping in natural light accentuate the magnificence of the school and connect the interior to the exterior. The west-facing classrooms are shaded by a binary code environmental graphic pattern-woven screen in respect of the school’s heritage for technical education. Yellow adds radiance against a subdued color pallet. Naturally lit clerestory windows, large, airy classrooms and hallways and a high performance, sustainably sound building brings together the past and future of Edison High School.
2. YCCD New District Office Building, California, United States
The design for the building is inspired by California National Parks. Solid exterior structural beams support long and rising rooflines to reflect rock cliff outcroppings. Walkways through landscaped areas that cross one another mimic natural park trails when entering from the North. Minimalistic interiors exhibit elegance. Angular lines contradict an earthy color pallet. The office exterior blends with other campus facilities due to the use of polished steel and moss green colors which compliment the District colors. Reclaimed redwood acts as the highlight in the building; a modern, efficient design that is on course to receive a LEED Platinum certification in addition to net-zero energy use.
3. Riverview Elementary School, California, United States
The school, located on a 16-acre site is designed to unify educational and co-curricular facilities. A bold signage marks the entry to the campus. The Administration block is strategically located for supervising the campus and offers easy access from visitor parking facilities. The Multi-purpose block is functionally versatile with under-stage storage and a meticulously designed acoustical detail which caters to a variety of uses. An amphitheater is planned for student assemblies and outside education. The skyline is made interesting with the use of flat and sloping rooflines. A play of light and shadow enhances the quality of interior spaces.
4. Trellis – Chino Skilled Nursing Facility, California, United States
The 37,000 square-foot healthcare facility is a subtle expression of California Contemporary style of Architecture. Considered to be a superior venue for rehabilitative healing and care, the medical building gracefully blends within the surrounding commercial area. Huge corridors and gathering spaces greet patients into the building. Every patient receives an individual room planned around a central courtyard for ease of movement. The patients are provided with a modern and professional atmosphere. The designers have used an earthy color pallet. Sustainable design features such as high-quality roof insulation, enhanced window insulation, variable refrigerant flow HVAC system and low volume drip irrigation system have been used to achieve energy efficiency.
5. South American Rainforest Exhibit, Fresno, United States
The exhibit at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo creates an interactive and enchanting user experience in the form of a walk-through habitat for a range of South American birds. The design blends within the surrounding rainforest to make it look like a natural setting. Thick nets are pulled over the structure to act as walls in a restrained way. Long wooden poles are used as structural members to support the nets. The interior design of the exhibit provides for the diverse collection of birds within the space. Curving landscaped pathways lead the visitor to a waterfall and a bubbling stream. The architects have designed unique microenvironments for the birds to co-exist peacefully.
6. Rutherford B Gaston Sr. Middle School, Fresno, United States
The campus is planned in the shape of a half-moon around a centrally located amphitheater to allow for effective supervision of students. A grand classical-styled entrance in the North greets visitors. Symmetry is observed in the design of the elevation. The school reflects a minimalistic, modern architectural style. A striking color scheme is used to create a pleasant learning environment for young students. The school not only provides a state-of-art learning facility for students but also benefits the surrounding community. Design features such as public sports fields and play equipment, meeting spaces and an on-site medical clinic address the needs of the community.
7. Wuksachi Village Lodge, California, United States
Wuksachi Village Lodge is a first of its kind facility built in a National Park in over 25 years. The use of a Rustic style along with Native American themes reflects an evolution of time. Carpet insets, metal strapping, tile patterns and stenciling have repetitive motifs from Navaho weavings. Mellow honey-hued lighting is maintained throughout. An elevated stone fireplace and hearth underline the timeless design. Innate textures such as granite, cedar siding and austere timbers help create a natural setting. A meticulous selection of furniture ensured that all the pieces fit perfectly into the overall arrangement. The focus on aesthetics and functionality eased this facility’s daily visitor use.
8. Fresno Yosemite International Airport-Parking Ticket Structure, Fresno, United States
The design for the Parking ticket structure at Fresno Yosemite International Airport was commissioned to Darden Architects in 2010 to support the growth of the Airport. The parking ticket structure would provide a 24×7 service and therefore, tearing down the old structure was a challenge but the architects did it seamlessly with the support of the Airport staff. A modern, industrial style of the 21st century is used to design the structure. A diligent selection of materials ensures that the building lasts and looks exquisite at the same time. The building conveys the idea of minimalistic forward-thinking. The lighting creates a dramatic effect on the elevation.
9. College of Osteopathic Medicine, California, United States
The college is a 92,000 square feet, three-story, U-shaped health science education facility planned around a large open courtyard. This facility is used throughout the year by students, faculty and staff. The materials used on the building’s exterior ensure durability with a sense of modernism. Dimensional stone, brick and aluminum glazing systems give an emphatic appeal to the façade. Large, double-height gathering spaces ensure social connections among the users. Curtain walls admit natural daylight and take advantage of the surrounding views. The interior spaces look elegant with the use of sober colors. Sun control devices help in effective control of light and heat gain in the building.
10. Clinical Laboratory Building, California, United States
The Clinical Laboratory is a new freestanding building designed as an addition to Sierra View Medical Center for improved efficiency and optimum utilization of existing facilities. The building blends within the existing campus and appreciates the surrounding environment. A hassle-free pedestrian movement between different provisions is a key factor of the design. A pneumatic tube system increases the effectiveness of the transfer of samples to and fro from the hospital. The clerestory windows admit abundant natural light to light up workstations throughout. The use of stone on the exterior gives a depth to the elevation. The aim of creating a facility that satisfies the client and respects the natural context has been achieved.
11. Phillip J. Patiño School of Entrepreneurship, Fresno, United States
This school is a unique facility in the United States that offers extensive education in Entrepreneurship. A substantial study of the concept and teaching methods became imperative for the design of this comprehensive facility. The main building has technologically advanced classrooms for collaborative teaching and learning. A “Shark Tank” room featuring a wide-screen media wall is located near the main entrance. The second building is versatile in use for the student body offering a Cafeteria with adjacent outdoor patio divided by an operable transparent wall. Design features like LED lighting, cool roofing, Energy Management system, Addition of shade trees, Low-key water fixtures, landscaping and shaded natural light in classrooms make for a high- performance learning environment.
12. Julien Elementary School Library Modernization, California, United States
The library was completed as a part of modernization to the campus at large. It has an additional reading room and sees rigorous use every day. The color Blue is used to cohere with the existing facility. The design is well suited to children of all age groups. To create a vibrant reading environment, graphic murals made by Darden architects are positioned above bookshelves. 3-form paneling and glass pendant lighting around the circulation desk adds privacy and aesthetic appeal. A quote by Dr. Seuss, “Think left and think right and think low and think high; Oh, the things you can think up if you only try!”, is highlighted on the curving ceiling feature.
13. Leon S. Peters School of Business and Valley Business Center, Fresno, United States
The Leon S. Peters School of Business and Valley Business Center offers distinctive education for aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders at California State University. It is a five-story building that consists of a large lecture auditorium, two executive lecture rooms, a conference-classroom-exhibit room divided into smaller rooms, a foyer and an outdoor garden. A north/south horizontal spine links various sections of the building. The spine is exhibited as a brick archway that passes through the vertical core of the building. The connection between indoor and outdoor spaces makes for a vibrant and composed educational environment. The building supports the Fresno entrepreneurial community.
14. Regional Headquarters Facility, California, United States
The Headquarters facility for Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District (CMAD) is a functionally versatile structure. It includes Administration, Research Lab, Board and Training Room and a fleet vehicle Maintenance Shop. Both the site and space-planning were required to be flexible to house added seasonal staff, which was more than double in number. Raw building materials creating an industrial style have been displayed due to the agricultural context of the site and extensive use of the interior spaces. Skylights admitting daylight in many spaces reduce energy usage. All the design decisions were closely associated with the CMAD to ensure a fruitful result.
15. Outpatient Laboratory, California, United States
This proposal required remodeling of the whole Outpatient Lab to bring in additional collection rooms. The interior design completely focuses on young children receiving treatment at this facility. It reflects the liveliness of the outer space concept through color, texture and lighting to camouflage the objective function of the space. The cosmic motif is child-friendly and an amusing distraction from difficult medical procedures. Color can change the look and feel of an interior space. The use of bright colors like red and yellow along with rainbow colors on the walls and floor adds vigor and dynamism to the space bringing joy to the young patients.