San Mateo, CA

College of San Mateo | Science Building and Planetarium


Structural Engineering


63,000 sf

Key Info

Separate bid packages for advanced permitting

First geodesic dome structure reviewed by DSADesign-Build


Design-Build Institute of America, Western Pacific Regional Excellence Award, 2008

California Construction magazine, Best of 2007 Northern California, Higher Education, Award of Merit

The new 63,000 sf Science Building at the College of San Mateo includes a three-story, steel frame structure for classrooms and research laboratories. The Planetarium structure is a separate round building with a dome-shaped roof separate and adjacent to the Science Building. To create the curved shape for the Planetarium's projections screen, R+C utilized a geodesic dome structure supported on a steel frame. This was the first geodesic dome structure reviewed by DSA. With an innovative Geodesic Dome structure, R+C separated the review of the project into two separate packages: the first for review of the Science Building, and the second for review of the Planetarium. This allowed the Science Building to be permitted in advance of the Planetarium. DSA review and permitting for the Planetarium took place while the Science Building was being constructed. Rutherford + Chekene provided structural engineering services for the design-build team.

Walterio Lopez


Higher Education
Science | Technology

Leavening peerless structural engineering skill with humor, philosophy, people skills and, above all, a consummate understanding of San Francisco's permitting process, [Alan] saw this project through.