Design Philosophy


It is the intent of the College to maximize the design potential of each campus building project in terms of accommodating the programs to be served, fostering collegiality on the campus, and contributing to the public realm that defines the CPCC campus as a unique, yet traditional place.

In order to achieve the programmatic goals of each project, the design must cost-effectively overlay the specific, user-generated objectives for the project with the CPCC objectives of institutional identity, durability, longevity, flexibility, and adaptability.

In order to foster collegiality, each project must create environments, which encourage interaction and discourse among students, faculty and staff.  This potential should be recognized in the development of interior and exterior environments.

While a major responsibility of programmatic accommodation is to the development of the “insides” of the project, every project also has a responsibility to the greater whole of the campus.  This responsibility to the public realm recognizes the importance of the architectural and planning traditions at CPCC and strives to contribute to the further development of the campus as a highly imaginable, unique, and inspiring place.

To achieve these goals, it is incumbent upon the project design team to invest in an understanding not only of immediate program goals but also of the history of planning and architecture on the respective campus, of the goals and objectives of the current Central Campus master plan (by Little and Associates), and particularly of the immediate context (precinct and site) for the project.

Accessible Design

It is the policy of CPCC to create a learning & working environment, which fosters participation by all persons who visit, attend and work for CPCC.  Design of new and renovated space, which allows inclusion of all persons, is a top priority.  Accessibility is something that should be included in the initial planning of all new facilities, not an after thought in a code review of a design that is complete.  Universal design that incorporates access for all persons should be a primary planning criteria.  In new construction, there is no need to segregate access for persons with disabilities from that for the general population.

Green Design Sustainability

Designers are encouraged to combine quality design with environmental sensitivity. There are countless ways design can address and incorporate green issues. Green design is not merely a matter of add-ons or product specification.  Rather, it influences the form of the whole building and is one of its major generators from the first moments of the design process.  As CPCC develops long-range plans, it is anticipated that green design will evolve from a current preference to a requirement in the future.


Design Character

  1. Buildings should extend and enhance the underlying planning and traditional architectural strengths of their respective campus.
  2. New buildings should balance individual expression with contextual sensitivity.
  3. New buildings should reflect the traditional character of CPCC as an institution with a rich past, vibrant present, and promising future.     
  4. Program, site, and budget parameters should all be addressed in an integrated fashion.

Site Planning

  1. Buildings should be sited to reinforce and enhance the spatial structure of the campus and its circulation patterns.

  2. Building entries should be clear and coordinated with circulation patterns and landscaping elements.  Do not plant large shrubs near entrances.
  3. Ground level uses should consider the harmony of interior and exterior activities.
  4. Hardscapes:Take care to articulate public sidewalks and outdoor patio areas.  The use of brick pavers or brick borders is encouraged.  Concrete paving should have tooled joints.  Avoid large expanses of concrete and sawed joints, except in service areas.
  5. Design and integrate the pedestrian paving with the lighting, seating, landscaping, and trash receptacles.

Site Lighting

  1. Parking should be convenient and well lighted to one fc minimum. Do not plant trees next to parking lot light poles.  Avoid freestanding light poles in the parking lot.  Parking lot light poles are usually leased from the local utility and are not in the construction contract.  Confirm with the Construction Director.  Designer is responsible for coordinating the lighting design and pole location with the utility and indicating sleeves (by the electrical contractor) where necessary to facilitate the construction process.
  2. Pedestrian lighting near walkways and entrances should be traditional and enhance the overall design.  Avoid the use of wall packs or other utilitarian fixtures that would be visible to the public.

Building Exterior

  1. Massing should be simple.
  2. Buildings should be tall enough to define adjoining spaces.  This will require a minimum 3-story or 45 feet high building.
  3. Bays, porches, towers, and other minor adjustments to massing are encouraged.
  4. Locate main building entrance near the ground level.  Avoid too many steps to the main entrance that will force elderly or disabled people to take an alternate route.
  5. Avoid multiple entrances to a building and avoid “hidden” entrances.
  6. Avoid use of EFIS, and light gauge metal siding.

Roof Forms, Roof Lines and Silhouette

  1. Well-developed and articulated rooflines are encouraged.  Refer to the current Central Campus Master Plan for more direction.
  2. Sloped roofs and flat roofs are both acceptable.
  3. Flat roofs should have carefully selected aggregate or pavers if visible.  Visible roofscapes must be as carefully designed as any other exterior surface of the building.

Architectural Details

  1. Buttresses, coping, string courses, and other traditional architectural details are acceptable and encouraged on the Central Campus.
  2. The joining of several dissimilar materials must be resolved carefully.
  3. Where possible, caulk joints should be placed in less visible locations such as inside corners or reveals.
  4. Extreme care and experienced oversight should be given to details designed to prevent water infiltration.


  1. Material selection should be made to reinforce existing campus patterns. Color choices for brick must be coordinated with the existing campus and reinforce the overall campus design.
  2. Masonry design must comprehensively consider unit size, texture, color, mortar, and striking.  The creative use of masonry patterning is also acceptable as an ornamental strategy.

Exterior Doors

  1. Wood, metal, and glass doors are all acceptable.
  2. Doors should have a quality and character appropriate to the overall façade.
  3. Vision panels, reveals, and carving (when appropriate) are encouraged.
  4. Provide overhead protection from weather at the primary entrances.  Avoid locating primary entrance on north side of the building.
  5. Vestibules are not required.  Provide vestibules if people will be working in an open space nearby.

Interior Numbering of Spaces

  1. The software that CPCC uses for Facilities inventory will only allow up to four (4) characters when identifying a space.  The numbering needs to be sequential.  Avoid adding letters to identify small rooms within a large space.  For example, a closet in room 1234 could be labeled 1235, not 1234A. 
  2. Rooms on floors below grade can begin with “0” as long as there are secure spaces (such as mechanical and electrical rooms) and no habitable classrooms or offices.  Basement levels that house classrooms or offices should be considered the first floor and begin labeling with a “1”.
  3. If the building plan is clearly organized into sections, label rooms within the same section with the same prefix; for example, all spaces in section 1200 would begin with “12”. On the other side of the main lobby in section 1500 all spaces begin with “15”.