Mogavero Architects

Sac State American River Courtyard


Replacing a 60-year-old outmoded dormitory, American River Courtyard Student Housing is the initial step of transforming California State University, Sacramento from a commuter destination to one with a campus life community. The building achieved LEED Gold certification and was named the Best Public Project of 2009 by the Sacramento Business Journal.

The university was presented with a check for $75,000 for exceeding the state’s energy efficiency standard by 35%.

The project creates architectural integrity and scale while relating to surrounding student housing, acting as an icon for the University’s residential district. When the project was completed, CSUS was presented with a check for $75,000 from SMUD for exceeding the state’s energy efficiency standard by 35%. We facilitated this efficiency with lighting, solar hot water heating systems and building controls, the preservation of existing trees and installation of water efficient landscaping.

The site is organized to create memorable places that define graduated levels of community. A courtyard creates a stage for student life, reinforcing the notion of community while the exterior design recognizes the context of the existing residence halls as well as newer buildings on campus. Architectural elements respond to diverse functions and create a lively visual experience through the composition of varied textures and colors. In the courtyard, special attention was paid to circulation for pedestrians and cyclists. Bicycle parking is accommodated along the main circulation paths, providing convenient access and storage.