WRNS Studio scooped an 2018 AIA COTE Award for Sonoma Academy's Janet Durgin Guild & Commons. Designed as part of a campus-wide expansion, the school utilizes a nature-and-human-centered design approach focused on active and passive systems that encourage environmental, social and community conscious learning and living.
The new 22,000-square-foot building houses maker and digital media studios, student support services, indoor / outdoor dining, an all induction commercial kitchen, and a teaching kitchen / meeting room that overlooks the school's productive gardens and the maker classroom patio. "This project demonstrates that, even with an energy-heavy program that includes a commercial kitchen, a fully integrated and dedicated design team can produce a beautiful and extremely well-performing building," jurors commented.
Sonoma Academy's guiding principles of creativity, inclusive community, exploration and innovation, coupled with a humanistic approach to education, was the inspiration for the two sweeping floors that begin in the heart of the campus and face the horizon with amazing views of Santa Rosa. Sliding screens, automated shades, visible radiant system controls, and deep overhangs relay how the building responds to climate. Regionally-sourced low carbon block, ceramic tiles, reclaimed beams, and exterior and interior sliding, pair with regionally-made lamps and furniture to celebrate community. The living roof attracts pollinators, houses photovoltaics, and connects to tiered planters that filter greywater and stormwater for reuse.
Photography: Celso Rojas