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School of Arts and Sciences

Challenging site and program requirements guided this 12 classroom, 2 story K-8 school addition into its proposed configuration.  With the need to move heavy school traffic off of the busy city street and onto the school’s site, buildable area was scarce, as much of the project site was relegated to parent drop-off, cueing lanes, storm-water management and parking.  The existing play area was relocated to the west and in its place an 8 classroom wing was inserted.  This allows students to traverse the steep site, under cover, by entering the building from grade onto the second floor balcony walkway, at the high end of the site and from the first floor, on the low side.  A stair at each end and a central elevator were used for vertical circulation.

Ground faced concrete block makes up much of the building’s skin, as well as cement board and batten, configured in an ashlar pattern, referencing the stone work on an adjacent church to the north, also owned by the school.  Single slope standing seam, metal roofs rise upwards toward a central courtyard created by the existing church and the addition of the two new classroom wings.  A terraced amphitheater and stair are incorporated into the slope at the western edge of the site, for outdoor teaching activities.  Folded roofs guide the eye to the classroom entries, along the second floor balcony walkways, which are protected from the harsh Florida rain and sun by vertical aluminum louvers.  The main entry is marked by an elevator tower extending vertically beyond the roof lines.  This reference to the chimneys found throughout the adjacent residential neighborhood allows the building to form a union with the surrounding homes as well as present a new public face for the school.

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