The Anteater Learning Pavilion will feature an elliptical, two-story structure containing stacked lecture halls, as shown in this architectural rendering, and a three-story edifice with classrooms, offices and mingling space.

Irvine, Calif., Dec. 8, 2016 – Construction will begin this month on a modern, high-tech classroom building – to be called the Anteater Learning Pavilion – designed to accommodate the University of California, Irvine’s burgeoning student population and to facilitate collaborative, multidisciplinary teaching and learning. Occupancy is expected by spring 2018.

“A central pillar of our strategic plan is to foster excellence in teaching and learning,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “That commitment is now exemplified in this magnificent building, which will feature lecture halls, impromptu conferencing spaces and the latest technology. I’m excited by the opportunities.”

An open-air stairway connecting the two structures overlooks the expansive courtyard, which serves as an outdoor living room.
An open-air stairway connecting the two facilities overlooks the expansive courtyard, which serves as a general gathering space.

Situated between Ring Mall and Inner Ring Road adjacent to Steinhaus Hall, the Anteater Learning Pavilion is part of a construction boom addressing the growth of student and faculty populations and research endeavors projected in UCI’s 10-year strategic plan. Recent additions have included the six-story Mesa Court Towers housing complex and on-campus headquarters for the Division of Continuing Education, which offers community programs and classes. An art museum and a nursing school building are also in the works.

The new classroom space will be designed and equipped to promote active learning, in which students engage and participate more energetically with materials and collaborate with each other.

Inside, where the structures intersect, is a "mixing hall" with seating nodes and a central staircase.
Inside, where the structures intersect, is a “mixing hall” with seating nodes and a central staircase.

“Our faculty no longer expect – or want – students to simply listen to lectures, take notes and memorize facts,” said physics & astronomy professor Michael Dennin, vice provost for teaching and learning. “In order for our students to be prepared for a complicated and competitive world, they have to be ready to understand and demonstrate processes, analyze arguments and apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations.”

The total project budget is $66,874,000: $61,874,000 from external financing and $5 million from campus funds. The Anteater Learning Pavilion will feature:

  • An elliptical, two-story facility containing two active-learning lecture halls – one with 250 seats stacked above another with 400 seats – positioned alongside Aldrich Park
  • A main-entrance bridge and central courtyard accessed from Inner Ring Road and Ring Mall that will function as a general gathering space
  • A three-story structure with day-lit classrooms and offices on one side and a “mixing hall” on the other that offers seating for informal interaction among students
  • A variety of flexible, reconfigurable spaces to serve diverse users
  • Collaboration spaces including lounges, breakout rooms and nodes – small seating areas for spontaneous conversation
  • Liberal use of glass walls to allow natural lighting and a feeling of openness to exterior public walkways and plazas
  • Audiovisual systems and other technology that enable the latest in active learning and teaching methods

In keeping with UCI’s leadership in sustainable construction, the facility is expected to earn LEED Platinum certification upon completion. The builder is Hathaway Dinwiddie, and the architectural firm is LMN.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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