Page N1.3. 23 September 2009                     
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    AIA Education Awards

    continued

    Six existing conventional 1950s dormitory buildings were demolished for the project, and replaced with five residence halls separated by courtyards, with common space contained in glass-walled pavilions with vegetated roofs. The site topography, along with existing 1920s neo-gothic buildings by Day & Klauder, formed the basis for the architectural language of the development. The sinuous building forms run counter-slope to take full advantage of daylight, maximizing exposure into each house's "front lawn" and common space. The buildings are intentionally misaligned to ensure through-views to the west.

    A key feature of the project is the buildings' exterior skin, a pressure-equalized rain-screen wall. Composed of brick veneer panels, the wall has a series of chambers in the cavity which are carefully divided with neoprene gaskets. Open joints around the windows and in the wall itself allow water to freely penetrate while allowing the free movement of air, which quickly wicks the water away, thus maintaining the long-term integrity of the wall in a climate subject to the pressures of freeze and thaw.

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    The project features a site-wide stormwater management system, naturally ventilated student dorm rooms, regionally fabricated brick cladding and pre-cast concrete, and locally quarried stone.

    Rural Elementary

    The new Staples Elementary School in Easton, Connecticut, stands on a 26-acre (11-hectare) former farm site among active farms. To integrate the school respectfully into its agrarian setting, the SLAM Collaborative created barnlike structures and sought to maintain the soft, rural appearance of the site.

    The design encourages young children to relate to the facility by using welcoming colors and recognizable forms, and by reducing the scale of large public spaces on the building front. The 121,000-square-foot (11,200-square-meter) school is organized around the concept of a village. Each grade has its own classroom "neighborhood." A "main street" corridor connected to the lobby separates those neighborhoods from the gym, cafeteria, and other public spaces.

    Every space of the building benefits from daylighting, especially the classroom wings. The design also minimizes the amount of exterior wall, a significant cost factor.

    Prep School Performance

    Another project by the SLAM Collaborative was also recognized: the Beaston Performing Arts Center at Avon Old Farms School, an all-boys boarding school in Avon, Connecticut. The architecture and materials of the 25,000-square-foot (2,300-square-meter) facility relate respectfully to the original 1920s campus buildings, designed in a distinctive English Cotswold-inspired style by Theodate Pope Riddle.

    Natural wood interiors are both elegant and functional, providing superior acoustics, while the building's brick and custom-made cast stone replicate the seemingly random stone patterns of the original campus buildings. The center was built into the slope of a hill to minimize its impact on the campus Village Green and to balance the building height with that of the adjacent student center.

    Chicago Charter

    Starting with an abandoned elementary school in Chicago, OWP/P created the vibrant new Ralph Ellison Campus of Chicago International Charter School, a high school serving primarily African-American students.

    The architects modified the classrooms of the derelict grade school and added a new structure to house administrative offices, a cafeteria, a library, science labs, and art and music rooms. A new gymnasium opposite the school was also part of the project.

    Many elements of the existing building were retained, including walls, wood floors, wood trim, and terrazzo. In the classrooms, translucent and opaque window treatments were replaced by clear, thermally insulated windows, bringing in daylight and increasing the R-value of the exterior envelope. To make visible the connection between old and new, the architects reconceived the cornices of the older building as benches.

    Security was a major element of the design. School leaders were philosophically against metal detectors, so security cameras and infrastructure were placed throughout the building instead, and a room connected to the entrance lobby was designed as a station for security personnel.

    The team faced concerns from local residents about traffic on an already busy corner, parking congestion, community safety, and trash removal. These concerns were addressed by incorporating extra lighting and cameras into the design, designing a secure parking area, and arranging for daily garbage retrieval.

    Unbuilt Awards

    Two citations were given for unbuilt projects: a Modular Zero Energy Classroom in Hawaii by Anderson Anderson Architecture, and Green Dot Animo Leadership High School in Lennox, California, by Pugh + Scarpa Architects.

    The AIA 2009 CAE Educational Facility Design Awards were announced on August 12, 2009.

    The 2009 AIA CAE awards jury was chaired by Gerald "Butch" Reifert, FAIA, Mahlum Architects, Seattle, and also included Daniel Friedman, FAIA, dean, College of the Built Environment, University of Washington, Seattle; Patricia Wasley, dean, College of Education, University of Washington, Seattle; William Leddy, FAIA, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, San Francisco; Margaret Gaston, executive director, The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, Santa Cruz, California; and Caroline Lobo, AIA, Orcutt Winslow Partnership, Phoenix, Arizona.   >>>

     

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    In Toronto, Ontario, the Jarvis Street Campus of Canada's National Ballet School combines new glass-and-steel buildings with historic structures.
    Photo: Tom Arban Photography, Inc. Extra Large Image

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    The National Ballet School's Jarvis Street Campus was designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd.
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    KieranTimberlake designed the West Campus Residential Initiative buildings at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
    Photo: Halkin Photography LLC Extra Large Image

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    The structures in Cornell's West Campus Residential Initiative are oriented to facilitate daylighting.
    Photo: Halkin Photography LLC Extra Large Image

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    Through building scale, proportion, and window placement, the sinuous buildings of the West Campus Residential Initiative relate respectfully to the older buildings of the Cornell campus.
    Photo: Jon Reis Photography

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    Staples Elementary School in Easton, Connecticut, was designed by the SLAM Collaborative.
    Photo: Courtesy SLAM

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    The design of Staples Elementary School borrows from several vernacular New England building forms.
    Photo: Courtesy SLAM Extra Large Image

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    Staples Elementary features traditional barn forms constructed of modern building materials.
    Photo: Courtesy SLAM

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    The SLAM Collaborative also designed the Beaston Performing Arts Center at Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Connecticut.
    Photo: Courtesy SLAM

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    The Beaston Center provides practice and performance spaces, as well as facilities to host students, families, and visitors.
    Photo: Courtesy SLAM

     

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