Education

Schellhase Commons  at Ursinus College Collegeville, Pa.

Pennsylvania College Merges Classic and Modern

Schellhase Commons on the Ursinus College campus is home to bustling social activity for students, as well as a welcoming place for prospective students, a gathering space for alumni and a meeting spot for the local community. In the design phase, Schellhase Commons was envisioned as a 16,800-sq.-ft. addition to Keigwin Hall and would be the product of new construction and renovation. The charge was to maintain the historical nature of the hall and fuse it with the new space, which would house a bookstore, an entertainment area and an admissions suite with meeting rooms. Architects needed a building envelope solution for Schellhase Commons that would be both classic and modern, tying the his

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Sunnyvale Independent School District, Sunnyvale, Texas

From Mundane to Marvelous

An inspired tweak to a standard Solatube offering puts an exclamation point on a space to inspire reading and learning. Create a state-of-the-art library that would serve as a focal point for the school, and find a way to bring daylight into the space with a unique aesthetic, as lighting was to be one of the key elements in the overall design of the library. Sunnyvale Independent School District was driven to create a new type of school design due to a shift in the way they were educating their students. The Intermediate school was their first new building under this change and was designed to align the built environment with the educational platform thus supporting the new style of interact

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University of Central Missouri Elliott Student Union, Warrensburg, Mo.

Enhancing the ‘Campus Living Room’

KWK Architects, partnering with CannonDesign, has completed a 15- to 20-year renovation masterplan for the University of Central Missouri’s Elliott Student Union, a 165,000-sq.-ft. social hub affectionately known as the “campus living room.” Most recently, kwk completed design and construction administration for implementing Phase 1 of the masterplan, which included a redesigned, modern main entrance and a new 280-seat multi-purpose auditorium addition. The total construction cost of Phase I was approximately $7 million. The new entrance was completed in fall 2019, while the new auditorium was completed in spring 2020.The planning team worked closely with university leaders

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Grand Concourse Academy Charter School, Bronx, NY

Color and Protection Highlight New Charter School

The Bronx’s Grand Concourse Academy Charter School found the right mix that helped the school stand out in the neighborhood—becoming a bright, engaging, inviting place—and stand up to the elements as well. Lubrano Ciavarra Architects (LCA) saw two great challenges when they set about designing Grand Concourse Academy Charter School. One, they needed to make the school stand out amid the sea of red brick that pervades the Bronx neighborhood. And two, they had to design a building that would stand up to the elements—wind, rain, snow and, of course, kids being kids.

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Natural Look

Custom ceiling solutions were installed in the lobby and services areas of the Minnehaha Academy Upper School. The installation focused on space and ambiance, with an emphasis on bringing nature into the buildings. A grille, made of hemlock wood, features an acoustical backer, which helps to control the sound in the main entrance.

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Lisle Elementary School, Lisle, Ill.

Not Quite Natural

At Lisle Elementary School in the Chicago suburbs, an immediately striking feature is the sprawling wood-look plank ceiling that greets students outside in the canopies at the school’s south and east entrances. The natural aesthetic of wood continues into the school’s corridors,where the design team from Perkins + Will specified CertainTeed perforated ceiling panels in Rift Cut White Oak veneer for their natural look and acoustic qualities. From a distance, the ceiling is unmistakably wood. In reality, it’s metal with a wood-look finish from the Box series by Hunter Douglas Ceilings & Walls from CertainTeed. Thanks to a unique metal construction, of 92% recycled materia

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‘Greening’ Play Space

In adding outdoor amenities, including walking tracks, San Antonio, Texas’ North East Independent School District opted away from asphalt and other non-permeable surfaces, and instead employed Porous Pave XL to install ADA-compliant tracks at 44 schools. A highly porous and durable material made, with 50% recycled rubber chips and 50% aggregate mixed on site, the material delivers a more sustainable surface for outdoor recreation resource. Additionally, the project required a surface with superior flexibility so that serviceability cracks, caused by horizontal or vertical movements of the underlying soils due to expansion and contraction, would not create problems.

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The Heights, Arlington, Va.

Stacked for Success

While public schools may not be known for their forward-thinking designs, The Heights Building in Arlington, Va., is the exception. Merging two existing secondary schools—the H-B Woodlawn Program and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Program—into a new 180,000-sq.-ft. building housing 775 students. The building exemplifies modern architecture, energy efficiency and a sense of community that connects students with the surrounding neighborhood as well as a focus on indoor-outdoor learning.Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), in connection with Leo A. Daly, designed the school with a bold, energetic vision to support both schools’ unique student bodies—H-B Woodlawn’s visual and per

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University of Minnesota Pioneer Hall, Minneapolis, Minn.

Merging Community and Privacy at the University of Minnesota

Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, the second oldest residence hall at the University of Minnesota recently became its second largest. The 90-year-old Pioneer Hall opened its doors to the 2019 freshman and sophomore class after completing $104.5 million in renovations. Now more than 40% larger than its original size, Pioneer Hall boasts a historically sensitive, but modern design within a 252,391-sq.-ft. facility supplying 756 beds to students across five floors. This includes preserving the building’s historic Georgian Revival-style exterior, while gutting an interior that previously consisted of adjoining townhomes that were exceedingly difficult to navigate and faile

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Energy-Efficient, Bird-Safe Glass Installed at National Aviary’s New Garden Room

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh recently completed the installation of glass windows and doors at The Garden Room, a new glass-enclosed venue for weddings, special events and educational programs that also will serve as a showcase for energy-efficient, bird-safe glass. “The National Aviary works hard to provide the best possible care for the birds through field conservation programs and education,” said Cheryl Tracy, executive director of the National Aviary. “As we made plans for The Garden Room, it was important to us to practice these principles by selecting materials that would help keep the wild birds in our neighboring park safe.”

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