Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: Diamond, Charles Temple, Architect (firm); Kump, Ernest J., Associates, Architects (firm); Masten and Hurd, Architects (firm); Sasaki, Walker Associates (SWA), Incorporated, Landscape Architects (firm); Lester W. Hurd (architect); Ernest Joseph Kump Jr. (architect); Charles Franklin Masten Sr. (architect); Hideo Sasaki (landscape architect/urban planner); Peter J. Walker (landscape architect)

Dates: constructed 1960-1962

12345 South El Monte Avenue
Los Altos, CA 94022-4504

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Building History

Foothill Junior College was the first junior college campus built in CA after the Second World War and was one of the most celebrated college designs of the 1960s, winning many design awards for its architecture and landscape architecture. Kump Associates won a competition for the school's design with Associated Architects from San Francisco, Masten and Hurd, in 1961. Sasaki, Walker and Associates served as the Landscape Architects for the 122-acre campus, working on its plan between 1957-1960. (This firm established a San Francisco office to undertake the job, with Peter Walker and Anthony Guzzardo, managing it.) The architects and landscape architects originally prepared their plans for an institution of 3,500 students, a figure that had jumped to 14,000 by 1989. A 1989 article on the work of Peter J. Walker, described the designers' parti of Foothill Junior College: "...[T]hey chose an acropolis scheme, using a pedestrian bridge to link the academic buildings on the hilltop with the athletic buildings on the [nearby] knoll. Ten clusters of buildings were sited so as to form courtyards and plazas. The larger spaces, including the central formal grove, are appropriate for congrerarion [sic] and ceremony. The smaller, more refined and intimate spaces can often be used, in the benign climate of Los Altos, as outdoor extensions of classrooms and offices." Their usage of courtyards may have been influenced by nearby Stanford University's network of outdoor spaces in the Quad and other areas on campus. After World War II, Stanford retained landscape architect Thomas Church (1902-1978) to supervise its campus landscape architecture; he designed several intimate outdoor courts, such as that of Ginzton Lab #1, that could have been influential for the Foothill designers. (See "Foothill College," Process: Architecture, no. 85, 10/1989, p. 34.)

Building Notes

Kump was the first recipient of the American Lumber Industry's Award for Design, 1962 for his 39 buildings on the Foothill College Campus, Los Altos, CA; this award was bestowed at the National Lumber Manufacturers Association at its annual meeting in Miami, FL. Foothill Junior College also won the First Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects, February 1962.

PCAD id: 5983