Our first challenge was to implement the facility re-organization/expansion program within a building footprint severely constrained by an awkward building orientation, existing athletic fields, and the need to “at least preserve,” but “preferably increase,” parking capacity on a severely restricted site in a busy suburban downtown setting.
We were also challenged to reconfigure confusing and inefficient circulation patterns throughout an existing facility with the intention of maximizing access to remote ends of the building in a clear, safe and straightforward manner.
Finally, our third challenge was to re-organize the vehicular and pedestrian logistics, in conjunction with expansion of the building footprint, in a manner that would allow for parking expansion, on-site bus drop-off, and athletic field improvement – all while minimizing the impact on adjoining property owners.
Our design solution utilized available courtyard space as an infill opportunity and demolishing existing under utilized/inefficiently located space to make way for a two-story classroom addition. Furthermore, a portion of the existing instructional space was surgically removed and re-built as a new performing arts addition with band, orchestra, and choir rooms to more effectively align with the re-organization plan. Throughout the new and renovated spaces, we incorporated environments for project-based learning and created inviting learning spaces for multi-needs students. New and renovated labs for a broad-based career and technical education and an increased number of general education classrooms support a variety of teaching and learning modalities.
We created three circulation loops, tangential to each other and organized around a student service core, a student commons, and an alternative instructional department. Major access points to the building are identified and spaced evenly throughout the facility to address heavy beginning and end-of-day traffic loads and after-hours activities.
Our site solution utilized and repurposed most of the existing pavement. By minimizing site disturbance, required stormwater detention volumes were dramatically reduced. Required stormwater detention was placed under the student parking lot in buried vaults. By repositioning site access points and separating parent and bus loading zones on opposite sides of the property, traffic patterns around and through the site were simplified, student safety increased, available parking expanded, and vehicular congestion relieved.
- 2014 High School Citation, American Schools & University Architectural Portfolio
- 2013 Exemplary Design, Educational PK-12, International Interior Design Association, Illinois Chapter
- 2012 Merit Award Finalist, Rehab Construction, Chicago Building Congress
- 2012 Grand Prize, Vision Design Award
- 2011 Honorable Mention, Excellence in the Design of Educational Environments, Illinois Association of School Boards