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Cal Poly architecture students present vision for rebuilding Paradise

Posted at 11:13 AM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 14:13:14-04

After working on them for the past six months, a group of third-year Cal Poly architecture students is unveiling their designs for the rebuilding of Paradise, California.

The students started the project less than two months after a fire devastated the town last November.

Faculty members Stacy White and Kent Macdonald led the students as they took their ideas from a conceptual phase to a fully designed building.

Architecture students work on designs to help rebuild the town of Paradise. (Photo courtesy Joe Johnston/Cal Poly)


“The students are so invested. It’s not theoretical. When they design these projects, they’re picturing the people they’ve met from Paradise and doing what they can to make them proud,” White says.

The architecture students met with numerous residents, getting chances to ask them questions and listen to what community members say they want for their town.

Cal Poly student Pacific Austin discusses her project during the architecture studio’s April trip to Paradise. (Photo courtesy Joe Johnston/Cal Poly)


“When I look at rebuilding our community, I’d like to see it built back better than the way it was, to build it for future generations,” Paradise Town Council Member Melissa Schuster says. “To have the students give us ideas was absolutely phenomenal.”

The designs include a town hall, a recreation center, an entrepreneurship center, mixed-use housing and healthcare facilities. These designs give community leaders conceptual ideas and visuals to present to potential investors and may help secure funding.

On June 2-3, the Cal Poly students will show off their work through posters, 3D and large-scale models, and virtual and augmented reality during four meetings in Paradise.

The Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo communities can check out the project June 4 at the Cal Poly Engineering West building from noon to 3 p.m.

The students will travel to speak at the AIA Conference on Architecture on June 6.

Student Zoey Fox works on a design for a new library in the town of Paradise.
(Photo courtesy Joe Johnston/Cal Poly)


Previous coverage:
Cal Poly architecture students ‘reimagine’ Paradise after Camp Fire destroyed community