The winners of this year's CAE Educational Facility Design Awards has just been revealed. Given by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE), the award honors educational facilities that serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client's mission, goals and educational program while demonstrating excellence in architectural design. These projects exemplify innovation through the client's educational goals through responsive and responsible programming, planning and design. Function and surrounding regional and community context are valued as part of the planning and design process.
California State University, Northridge Student Recreation Center
The Student Recreation Center strategically creates a strong bookend to the east end of the campus, providing a dynamic, energetic approach to recreation. The design concept is clearly executed with a judicious use of colors and finishes.
Upon entering the building natural lighting and material choices raise excitement and motivate movement. As an athletic building, it captures the energy and impetus of the various sporting activities inside. Strong transparency and interconnections between spaces inside the building are appealing, inviting and conducive to exercising. Compositionally it is assured and confident. Its community connection is highly apparent. Rainwater collection, natural ventilation, and day lighting are strong sustainable design features that are nicely integrated into the design. It was evident to the jury that students were involved in the conceptualization process and planning.
Photo: Costea Photography
Sandy High School
Dull Olson Weekes - IBI Group Architects
Breathtakingly detailed as a public school, Sandy High School sets very high standards in terms of materials, finishes and aesthetics. Sitting lightly on the land, the building allows nature to penetrate the campus. It takes advantage of the hillside and creates panoramic views while nestling comfortably on the contours. Visible green roofs below adjacent classrooms add to hillside views while remaining roof areas are opportunities for power generation.
Transparency between classrooms and common areas is executed boldly, with floor to ceiling glass suggesting a confidence with the user groups. Single loaded corridors were used to great effect by allowing natural light into both sides of learning spaces. Exterior treatments reflect the region in a wonderful and indigenous way and incorporate pleasant verandas with deep overhangs. The usable space per student and color combinations contribute to and promote student development.
Photo: Josh Partee
Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building
Duvall Decker Architects
This simple and honest building with strong forms and an elegant façade shows that a few simple gestures can render a sense of identity to an otherwise nondescript campus. The rigorous use of materials, straightforward detailing, and clarity of concept elevates the modest program to a new level. The jury admired the light airy classrooms that combined the translucent, transparent, fixed, and operable glazing.
Mesa Community College Health Wellness Building
The transformation of this postindustrial concrete building into a light filled, translucent learning environment is exceptional. This project sets a high standard for reuse and repurposing of an existing building and demonstrates how constraints can benefit and strengthen a project.
The conversion of leftover space between buildings creates dynamic and interactive circulation opportunities. The exterior is striking in its bold gestures, especially at night.
Photo: Liam Frederick
Cranbrook Kingswood Girls' Middle School
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
This design integrates form and function in ways reminiscent of the Crow Island School. The building is indicative of an independent language that fits well within the campus context. Cranbrook Kingswood Girls' Middle School is beautifully detailed, appropriately contextual in a place where expectations are very high, modest in scale, yet intimate.
The variety of shared common learning spaces connects directly to the exterior while providing opportunities to integrate imaginative ideas into the educational environment. The scale of the interstitial spaces and classrooms give a very secure feeling to the learning environment. This school builds on great traditions but creates a quality and life of its own.
Photo: Frank Ooms