BACKSTORY

The University of California, Riverside is part of the prestigious University of California system.

Located in suburban Riverside, CA with a small branch campus in the Palm Desert, it is the only inland University among the 10 campuses in the UC system. Founded in 1907, it boasts over 18,500 undergraduate students and 2,000 graduate students.

DCI has provided sustainable hardwood furniture to campuses in the UC System since the ‘90’s with a steady contract since 2003.

California sets global standards for sustainability, and the UC System honors that legacy by upholding a rigorous green building ethic. This is one reason why DCI is a supplier of choice with the UC System. We provide the most sustainable furniture in the residence hall market.

This was our first time collaborating with UC Riverside. With the Glen Mor 2 residence hall’s focus on sustainability, it was a partnership waiting to happen.

In 2013, DCI was contacted by UC Riverside based on a referral from SCB Architects. The esteemed firm was responsible for designing UCR’s new ultra-modern desert chic 334,000 square foot Glen Mor 2 ($145m) student apartment complex. Now they were looking for a partner to furnish Glen Mor 2 with a new design standard.

In terms of project scope, according to Glen Mor 2 builder, Clark Construction, the complex includes “five, five-story apartment-style residence halls that altogether accommodate approximately 800 students. The housing facility has dedicated space for meeting rooms, a computer lab, and a fitness center. Clark also constructed a resident services office building, a food emporium, and a swimming pool as an integral part of the complex.”


PROCESS & APPROACH

In 2011, UCR’s goal, in keeping with their new state-of-the-art environmentally sensitive complex, was to upgrade the design standard of their campus furniture to match the caliber of Glen Mor 2. They needed unique products to fit their unique application.


PHASE 1 – Bedroom Furnishings

In 2013, we started the collaboration. Our first task was to design beds, wardrobes, desks, bookshelves, and dressers for triple rooms to maximize occupancy. We developed some custom products and layouts to meet their specs and UCR was enthusiastic.

Custom Wardrobe
We then entered a deeper collaborative process with many iterations to reach the perfect design. For example, we created a custom full-length mirror to add to the wardrobe and special features like an extra shelf. Additionally, we developed a custom stain and laminate to enhance the modern look of the set.

Custom Bed, Dresser, Bookshelf
How do you elegantly maximize space? Based on the design requirements, we developed a functional bed with space for 2 drawer units that could fit underneath the bed or stack anywhere in the room. We also developed a custom bookshelf that could fit under the bed. But we didn’t stop there. The bookshelf could also come out from under the bed and tip on it’s side to double as a nightstand.


PHASE 2 – Living Rooms

At one stage in the process, the client asked for our opinion on a deluxe living room combo set they saw at a furniture expo and which included an end table, sofa, TV stand, and coffee table. The set they desired was too expensive. So based on our existing catalog and experience, they asked if we could develop some samples inspired by the new design.

We then designed our own set, incorporating their favorite design elements and our sturdy construction. We customized it to fit their specific environment. In the end, we developed a full living room set which included the following pieces:

  • Sectional sofa: corner unit, and left and right loveseat
  • TV stand
  • Coffee table and end table

RESULTS

The Glen Mor 2 living room sets weren’t part of our original bid. However, the first stage of the collaboration was so fruitful that this was a natural second step. But the benefits for UC Riverside went beyond mere convenience.

First, by partnering with DCI in the second stage of the project, UC Riverside came in way under budget because we could consolidate both jobs into one project.

Second, we created an original and tailored product for their environment that was much less expensive than the high-end showroom piece.

Third, from a logistics point of view, these installations are a huge job requiring major coordination. Instead of having to deal with the increased time, complexity, and communication required for multiple providers, UC Riverside only had to deal with a single supplier installing furniture into 4 buildings all at once over the course of a few weeks.

Fourth, the client was so pleased with the sustainability and design standard of the Glen Mor 2 collection that they printed flyers and gave them to all the students detailing the project. You can see that flyer HERE.

Fifth, because UC Riverside wanted a new design standard for the entire campus, and because they were so happy with the outcome, DCI has worked with them three years running to upgrade additional campus residence halls.

View Case Study (PDF)

Project Location: Riverside, CA

Project Size: 850 Bedroom Sets: Beds, Bookshelves, 4-Drawer Units, Wardrobe

Building Type: University Residence Halls

Project Team: UC Riverside, DCI, SCB Architects

Product List: Martinez Bed and Desk, Storage Cubby, Glen Mor Lounge, Wardrobe, 2-Drawer Underbed Stackables


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