Central Arizona College

Central Arizona College selected SmithGroupJJR to master plan its new campus and design a full first phase of architectural development. The firm delivered a creative, wide-ranging plan that promotes cross-disciplinary learning and provides a model for arid-region sustainable development.

Called “the Genome project,” the plan’s unique approach layered natural systems, land uses and cultural legacies to create a complete genetic blueprint for the new campus. The first phase of construction includes a student services building, learning center, instructional building, and central plant, all developed in concert with the master plan. The comprehensive approach establishes integrated academic neighborhoods that promote collaboration across disciplines while celebrating local heritage and vernacular.

Sustainable design creates a high performance learning environment. The architecture responds to its desert context through building positioning, use of glass and transparency, and solar shading systems. Site design draws inspiration from the desert arroyos, allowing for the effective flow of stormwater and pedestrians while uniting all edges of campus.


Project Type


Maricopa, Arizona, United States

Related links


  • SmithGroupJJR
  • Liam Frederick, Bill Timmerman