this studio project focused on working together with the leadership, teachers and students of the environmental charter school (ecs) in pittsburgh to explore concepts for the design of their next generation of middle schools.
the building is to be the focal point of the garfield-bloomfield penn ave intersection. the site is surrounded by abandoned lots, a funeral home, and derelict residences. the builsing is to act as a symbol of what is possible in the future through the effors of non-profits such as the bloomfield-garfield corporation and their vision for the future of garifeld. this was to be articulated through the use of a facade system.
the envelope serves to answer the questions of how can it help the building associate with the community while dissociating itself from the current state that the neighbouthood and its surroundings are in. the studios are placed to the south of the side, toward penn ave. there are three above ground floorswith four studios stacked above each other. each floor is dedicated to one year group. on each floor three of the studios serve one purpose - an undisturbed learning space while one of them is a flexible studio space used untermittently and pushed off to the side in-case there was too much noise.
stimulating engagement between communities through the program and envelope to create a continuous shimmering screen between the current lack of life on the site and the flurry of activity within the building. the mainly glass building expresses this through an emphasis on materiality and construction elements that educates the community on architecture and construction methods. the outdoor garden is an extension of the studio learning spaces and provides for an area where children can learn more about ecology. the entrance can be viewed directly from the administrative offices allowing for an increased sense of security. a central corridor acts as the boundary between communal and private - some parts will not be accessed by the public even after hours.