A place for the IT crowd

James Forryan
Friday 20 Feb 2009

Fuller D'Angelo provide modern facility for information technology

The challenge of this school project was to utilise the proper vocabulary of architecture, engineering and information technology to create a functional, sculptural school building that excites high school students studying these fields. While they are satisfying the required curriculum, pupils are able to learn the basic fundamentals of construction by observing the immediate interior and exterior environment. The engineering aspects of various areas were conceived to have the structural, mechanical, electrical, and information technology components exposed to view. This assists in learning because the building is also their guide.

The primary functions surround the two main skeletal spaces, the open amphitheater and the atrium, with a variety of vistas in between. The atrium with a 3-level steel stairway, free standing glass elevator, connecting bridge and corridors can also function as an auditorium. The Piazza is the basis of the design with its main communal qualities.

Located at one end of the atrium on the intermediate level, the Library is of a cylindrical shape, two stories high, and is covered by a 60’ translucent dome. All of the book stacks and functional fixed items have been located on the exterior perimeter wall with reading and study functions in the centre to provide flexibility and dual functionality for group instruction and after-hour activities. Wireless electronic equipment on movable carts is provided for the centre study area.

A combination of natural and artificial light has been designed to bring the outside environment inside during the daytime hours and project the interior lighting outside after dusk.The library can best be experienced from the Teachers’ Lounge perimeter ring, which forms the second storey of the library and has a view of the cyber café, cafeteria and distant athletic fields.

The exterior of the building is clad in aluminum curtain wall and high insulating value, single wythe ground face block. The building has many sustainable features, including a thermal storage system to teach students today’s much needed technologies.

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