SCAPE joins team to design Stanford Sustainability Commons

Jun 6, 2023

The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability announced today that they selected a team led by Studio Gang in collaboration with SCAPE and Atelier Ten to design the new Stanford Sustainability Commons, which will anchor the university’s interdisciplinary efforts to tackle urgent climate and sustainability challenges facing people and ecosystems worldwide.

The ambitious project will include new buildings and a series of outdoor spaces that will host Stanford’s first new school in 75 years, welcoming all those at the university with an interest in sustainability, regardless of their academic focus, as well as partners in government, industry, and other outside entities working to drive policy and technology solutions to advance the long-term prosperity of the planet.

“Climate change is precipitating far-reaching change across all aspects of society—it’s a landscape emergency,” said Kate Orff, FASLA, Founder of SCAPE. “The Commons will be a biodiverse and welcoming place to gather, work, and lead the way toward a more sustainable future. Just as the buildings by Studio Gang and Atelier Ten will exemplify the next generation in architecture and sustainable infrastructure, the Commons can ground these goals in the physical site, starting from the soil and setting a regenerative landscape into motion—one that can foster a culture of experimentation and exchange.”

The project will consist of new buildings and a series of outdoor spaces along the west side of Stanford’s campus. The campus will also align with the university’s leadership in sustainability and goals to achieve zero waste by 2030 and net zero Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gasses by 2050. The Commons will connect the buildings with other spaces including the Green Earth Sciences Building, the Yang and Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2), the Braun Building (GeoCorner), and the O’Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm and involves a strong landscape component, creating transitions within the campus spaces and to the surrounding Palo Alto landscape.

“The Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability site offers such a rich opportunity,” said David Lenox, University Architect and Executive Director of Campus Planning and Design at Stanford. “It will be situated at the transition where drifts of oak trees and natural landscape filter in from the foothills and Lake Lagunita, through Windhover and the Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden, to meet the dense development of our campus core.”

Studio Gang, SCAPE, and Atelier Ten will be supported by an incredible team including Thornton Tomasetti, PAE, RANA, Sherwood Design Engineers, Tillotson Design Associates, Once Future, Coffman Engineers, Auerback Pollach Friedlander, Front, SGH, Edgett Williams Consultant Group, Salter, Ricca, Construction Specifications, RFD, and Studio Pacifica.

Construction of Sustainability Commons is expected to begin by late 2026.

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