Ratcliff programmed and designed the new Media and Learning Center for De Anza College, a two-story synergistic environment where students, teachers and staff participate in state-of-the-art, technology-enhanced teaching and learning.
At the initial phase of the design, Ratcliff provided feasibility studies to develop alternate site planning options to the original master plan. Based on the study recommendations, De Anza College made the decision to realign the existing loop road and turn the building 90 degrees to an east-west axis. This placed the building in an optimum solar orientation, maximizing the building perimeter for day lighting and harvesting solar energy. The new building is designed to attain LEED® Platinum certification. The new road alignment demarcated a larger building site, opening up an opportunity to create a new campus quad adding outdoor teaching/learning spaces and a landscaped gathering place for social interaction.
The building contains classrooms, laboratories, TV studio and departmental spaces for Distance Learning, Staff Development and Tech Resources. Organized around a sky-lit atrium, the building integrates gathering spaces with circulation, creating converging crossroads where spontaneous encounters can take place. A modular planning approach ensures the flexibility to adapt the building to future changes in use and technology. Universal classroom modules can easily be re-configured to accommodate different seminar, lecture and small group settings. Adjacent pairs of 40-50 seat classroom modules can be joined to create larger 80-100 seat classrooms.