What better time to be immersed in the fairytale landscapes of renowned author Roald Dahl than as a child first experiencing his books. Children growing up in Great Missenden, England, Dahl's old neighborhood of 36 years, will have this colorful experience in a whimsical new school building designed set to begin construction in October. Located about 38 miles outside London, the Prestwood Infant School in Great Missenden asked PMR Architecture and London-based architecture firm De Rosee Sa to create a new multi-purpose dining hall. The new space takes its inspiration from the Grand Feast Hall in Dahl's classic Fantastic Mr. Fox. Clad in a colorful spectrum of timber logs, the cafeteria can be converted into space for extracurricular activities, according to BD Online. The building's form reflects existing buildings on the school's campus with a playful series of gables along its main facade facing a playground. Eventually, the colorful design could reach beyond the dining hall walls: "We also hope that the new hall will be the first stage in the process of regenerating the playground and outdoor spaces, and would like to continue the design outside to form interactive games, such as hopscotch," De Rosee Sa wrote on its website.
Posts tagged with "Schools":
French architecture firm H20 Architectes has given light to a nursery school sited in an unusually tight and narrow courtyard site in Paris. Located in the shadow of surrounding buildings, the new facility has been designed with a glass facade and corresponding shade canopy that appears to lift effortlessly at the front entrance, belying its rigid construction. The extension and renovation of Epée de Bois nursery school in Paris, which opened this year, has provided an airy space for 24 children and features a rooftop play area guarded by the crimped and undulating shade screen along the structure's parapet. The new envelope will let light penetrate into the interior of the preschool while achieving high energy performance. The facility is built on three levels including its basement—two for children and one for offices—and the roof terrace has been imagined as an open playground enclosed by glass panes. "The extension of the nursery is an opportunity to give new coherence to the group of buildings," H20 Architects said in a statement.
Flint, Michigan kicked off a series of events celebrating education and the arts Friday, unveiling interactive installations cooked up over a year-long after school program local students have dubbed Museum of Public Schools. Produced by the Flint Public Art Project, the ongoing exhibition will culminate in a series of proposals by students to change their school system. Mott Middle College plays host to the ongoing event. “Usually students just experience their own educational opportunity and journeys,” Mott Principal Cheryl Wagonlander said in a press release. “It's rare for them to step out of the role of experiencing and become the seekers of information about how varied educational access and opportunities are in their own community and beyond their own community.” On the corner of South 2nd Street and Saginaw, students installed chalkboards that asked the public, “What is the purpose of education?” Answers varied widely in tone, from sarcastic to self-reflective. The Museum of Public Schools program is just one of several summer events planned as part of the growing Flint Public Art Project’s programming. Upcoming events include a “porch light initiative” to illuminate the city on June 19 to celebrate the day in 1865 when Union soldiers announced the end of the Civil War. More information is at www.flintpublicartproject.com.
Chipakata is small rural Zambian community with no local school so its children have to walk five miles to an overcrowded facility. But Joseph Mizzi, president of Sciame Construction, visited the village last year with New York City–based stylist and native-Zambian, Nchimunya Wulf. They both were inspired to start a non-profit to build a new school for the community. The duo launched the 14+ Foundation last June and after a fundraiser that garnered $350,000 for the organization to pit together a group of New York–based design professionals who are building a brand new facility in the heart of Chipakata. The building, the foundation claims, will "capture views of the surrounding landscape and occupy level ground, both of which were drivers in the overall planning and siting of the complex." Further, "Aided by computer analysis of the site’s solar conditions, the orientation and massing of the buildings ensure proper solar shading throughout the day. The basic design of the classroom buildings is a modified version of the traditional Zambian 'classroom bar' typology. By pulling the classroom modules apart, additional covered spaces are created for informal learning and group activities. Clerestory windows maximize daylight and natural ventilation within the classroom volumes. The elevated steel canopy provides for flexible open-air spaces on the second level shaded from sun and rain." In developing country like Zambia, construction materials all need to be imported so this facility "is being built from locally available materials and resources and employs nearby Zambian construction firms as well as local community members to perform the construction work on site. A number of community-based initiatives have already been completed including new roads and infrastructure, a grinding mill and a retail shop that provide more immediate access to essential goods and services for the village. The first phase of the project will open in 2014. Subsequent phases across the 250 acre site will include numerous agricultural initiatives, a health clinic and other important facilities." The design of the project is a collaborative effort lead by a group of NYC design professionals including Susan Rodriguez, a founding partner and design principal at Ennead Architects, Frank Lupo, an adjunct professor at Pratt Institute, Nat Oppenheimer, executive vice president of Robert Silman Associates Structural Engineers, and Randy Antonia Lott, director at Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects. The team has provided their services for this project on a pro-bono basis.
New York City’s financially-strapped Department of Education is seeking to cash in on a 99,000 square foot lot on 70th Street just west of Broadway, but a local elementary school and the legacy of one of America’s first Modernists stand in the way. If the Department gets its way, the three-story P.S. 199, designed in 1963 by Edward Durell Stone, will be sold to developers and replaced by a 340-foot-tall luxury residential tower in the already crowded Upper West Side neighborhood. Stone’s architecture has faced criticism since the late 1950s, when he moved away from the earlier International Style to incorporate classical reference and Beaux-Arts formalism into his designs. While some of his work, like DC’s Kennedy Center, have won over both the public and critics, other relics of his legacy have not faired as well. Famously, the marble-clad "Lollipop Building” at 2 Columbus Circle faced drastic renovations both inside and out in 2005, effectively erasing any remnants of Stone’s maligned eclectic historicism despite strong resistance from preservationists and the architectural community. PS 199, with its white brick colonnade, dramatic six-foot cornice, and sober monumentality exhibits many of the same qualities that have won Stone praise from some and abuse from others. While it has thus far slid beneath the radar of Stone’s detractors, it may soon face the wrecking ball nonetheless. Neighborhood residents have begun a campaign to stop the Department's efforts, with a petition less than 300 signatures short of its goal. Community members worry that the planned residential development will displace their school, lead to additional stress on already burdened local infrastructure, and lead to overcrowding. While the Department promises to install a new school in the base of the development, like they did at Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street, this concession has done little to appease local antagonism towards the project. One can assume that as this project moves forward, we will here more and more from local activists and preservationists alike.
Edgeless School: Design for Learning Center for Architecture 536 LaGuardia Place Through January 19, 2013 Edgeless School investigates how technology is changing education and how architecture itself is changing as a result. The exhibition takes a look at 19 newly completed schools throughout the country (eight are in New York City and the majority of the rest are in the Pacific Northwest) and sorts them by their degree of “edgelessness.” The Ethical Culture Fieldston Middle School in the Bronx, for example, softens the distinction between the built environment and nature by embracing outdoor space and using a connection with nature as an educational tool. The L.B. Landry High School in New Orleans, LA, on the other hand, blurs conventional distinctions between constituencies by encouraging students, educators, parents, and architects to work together to create a building that is designed to further the school’s pedagogical goals.
As part of an ongoing relationship with the North College Hill school district in Cincinnati, fellow Cincinnatians SFA Architects helped the district consolidate its many facilities into the space of one city block. The combined Middle-High School building, completed in 2010, last week received LEED Platinum certification, making it the third public education facility in Ohio to earn the green building ranking system’s top honor. Completed within budget, the 198,000-square foot project achieved much of its energy savings by employing efficient HVAC equipment and extensive daylighting. Solar panels on the property will produce about five percent of the facility’s energy, with real-time solar power generation data available online. Ohio’s first LEED Platinum school, the London Middle School, designed by SHP Leading Design, was certified in April. That project reduced energy use 42 percent and water usage 40 percent. It also added a 71.2-kilowatt solar array that generates about 15 percent of the school’s yearly needs. Taft Information Technology High School in Cincinnati is also LEED Platinum.
The massive development planned at the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) was unanimously upheld by the New York City Council Land Use Committee on Thursday, and the Lower East Side might be getting a new school. Or not. City officials won’t decide whether to build the project—part the 1.65 million square foot development at SPURA—for at least another five years, claiming initially that the community did not need a new school. According to City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, the city will set aside 15,000 square feet in the new mixed-use buildings in case a school becomes necessary in the future. The city will also reevaluate the funding available to build it and will keep the potential space available until 2023.
The landmarked Standard Oil Building at 26 Broadway continues to undergo its transformation from the oil giant’s Carrère and Hastings-designed New York headquarters into a bustling school building. Last week, AN got a sneak peek at the third academic institution to be completed there, a 104,000-square-foot space occupying the building’s first, mezzanine, and second levels. It will add 677 high school seats to the Broadway Education Campus, which currently includes The Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women (on the 4th and 5th floors) and Lower Manhattan Community Middle School (on the 6th and 7th floors). All three schools have been designed by John Ciardullo Associates Architects, who have worked extensively with the SCA over the past several decades. Perhaps that relationship is why Ciardullo was allowed to have a bit of fun with the campus. As illustrated by the below photos, the underused interior mechanical courtyard is being transformed into a double-height gymnasium complete with a peaked skylight. The construction took a bit of maneuvering—not only with the Landmarks Preservation Commission but also with the new roof’s structural steel, which was slid into place through the building’s windows. John D. Rockefeller wouldn’t have imagined that students would someday play basketball within the walls of his Beaux Arts edifice, which he occupied from 1928 through 1956, but fortunately new pupils will see many of the original limestone and marble details intact in the school’s hallways, in addition to original elevator doors (now sealed shut) and brass light fixtures. Of course, the 29-story building’s upper floors are still marketed as posh office space, including Rockefeller’s own quarters, complete with historic woodwork and chandeliers.
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High-performance concrete creates new possibilities for a community college facade.A new generation of concrete, called Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC), is changing the way architects and designers think about the material. Usually composed of cement, fine grain sand, silica fume, optimized admixture, and alkali-resistant glass fiber reinforcement, UHPC offers high ductility, strength, and durability with a fine surface appearance. A new UHPC product called TAKTL, launched last year, shows the many additional applications that are possible with the right material mix, including facade panels available through its sister company VECTR. Recently chosen by Milan-based Wilson Savastano Venezia Architecture Studio for its Dukhan Community College (DCC) project in Qatar, the company is in the research and development phase for perforated and solid panels to clad the school’s sculptural facade. In addition to shading an inner layer of solar glass, the 90,000-square-foot facade will provide dissipative cooling for the DCC’s classrooms, accommodating 1,500 pupils and 250 staff. TAKTL is working with both the architect and substructure engineer Guido Berger to develop the modules. Though their opacity will vary—the building design calls for solid forms at the top of the structure and perforated pieces for occupied floors—each panel will be ¾ inches thick and cast to fit the sculptured facade. The panels require no post-processing, no coating, and no cutting, resulting in minimal waste during production. The company’s manufacturing process is also modular and mobile. For the DCC project, they will establish a facility in the region where the panels will be cast using concrete components sourced from within a 200-mile radius. The same setup can be arranged almost anywhere in the world. “There aren’t any magic ingredients,” said Dee Briggs, the design strategist for the Glenshaw, Pennsylvania-based company. “It’s the mix ratio and process that is proprietary.” TAKTL’s UHPC mix is distinguished by its high matrix density. Developed in partnership with German UHPC specialists, the company’s formula relies on an ideal particle size for each application to insure a densely packed concrete matrix, creating stronger chemical bonds and lower water absorption. The finished product, whether used in VECTR panels or other products from the company’s second sister company, SITU, has high compressive, tensile, and flexural strength. Unlike conventional precast concrete and Glass Fiber Reinforced Cement, the mix incorporates reinforcing fibers and mesh only as a backup strength component—they are not required to meet strength standards. Products can be cast in a variety of textures and colors, all of which resist water, salt, and other environmental corrosives. The material has also caught the attention of the architects at Snøhetta, who recently unveiled the design for Ryerson University Student Learning Center in Toronto. According to project lead Michael Cotton, VECTR panels are being considered for the large lobby (or entry “dome”) wall, which will be suspended from the ceiling and continue onto the building facade. While also considering architectural terracotta, the team is particularly interested in TAKTL’s ductility and finish options. “What we understand about TAKTL is that they can mold it into virtually any shape,” said Cotton. “We are going to need multiple modules; there could be ten facets to each module.” Snøhetta has also visited the company’s facility to discuss options for achieving the vivid, non-homogeneous reflective surface they envision for the Ryerson lobby wall.
Like many outlying parts of the city, Brownsville fell hard from its turn-of-the-century grandeur, with decaying reminders of its former greatness. Among them is the Loews Pitkin Theater, once home to the likes of Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle, Humphrey Bogart, and Al Joelson's last performance, as well as thousands of eager movie goers. The building has been closed since 1969—until last week, when a ground breaking was held for a new charter school and retail complex. Curbed and Brownstoner were among those in attendance, and they got some pretty amazing pictures of the building's decrepit interiors (see some after the jump). We've since been sent the above rendering by the developers, POKO Partners, who are working with Kitchen & Associates, a firm based in Collingswood, New Jersey on the renovation. According to POKO, the project will mesh what remains of the building's sumptuous Art Deco interiors with high-tech, sustainable features, creating something at once historic and cutting edge. The base of the building will house some 70,000 square feet of retail with a 90,000-square-foot, 1,100-seat elementary and middle school above, run by Ascend Learning. The project is expected to be completed in the next 18 months. "The Loews Pitkin Theater is exciting because it embodies POKO¹s core values of revitalizing neighborhoods and enhancing communities through positive and responsible real estate development," POKO President and CEO Ken Olson said in a release.
Sure, sports fields are great. But wouldn't it be cool if your school had a great garden? GOOD Magazine and the LA Unified School District think so too. They're looking for architects as well as teachers, students, parents and anyone else to create affordable, scalable, modular school garden designs that any school can use. There's more to it than you might think. Plans can include not only plants and plant beds but pathways, tool storage, irrigation schemes, greenhouses, benches, seating, trellises, plant beds, paths, trees, potting tables, farmstands, and so on.. It's a great idea to unleash creativity and learning in a place that's so often dominated by tests. Winning designers will attend a one-day workshop with landscape architect Mia Lehrer to refine their proposals, and one garden will be installed in a Los Angeles school by October. Submissions are due by June 15, and the winners will be chosen by July 1.