St. Martin is a private Catholic Charter School in the City of Cleveland. We worked with the Teachers and Administrators to understand the needs of the education process for a student population 95% of whom is at or below the poverty level, and developed a series of spaces that allow for individual work, one on one tutoring, small group, large group, and entire grade level work. Additionally, the design focuses on aligning the physical space with the mental learning space. Campfire spaces for storytelling and sharing wisdom, Watering Hole spaces for student to student learning, Cave spaces for isolation and focus, and Life spaces where knowledge is applied to reinforce the understanding of the concept. Education is not fixed, and these spaces are designed with flexibility at their core. As a result they also have the ability to be reconfigured. The building design approach has been holistic, and while meetings with educators was occurring, so was day-light and energy modeling ensuring the classrooms of tomorrow were matched with a high performance building skin, maximizing the natural environment and ensuring minimal energy input from fossil fuels.
Reclaiming space is an important event on college and university campuses. CWRU’s engineering department was looking for space in which to construct a collaborative learning environment to support a computer fabrication lab. The room required a variety of meeting and organizing places, storage, intense computer and media infrastructure as well as flexibility to support changing projects and programs.
Faced with the leftover warehouse space, studioTECHNE worked with the engineering school to develop a multi-dimensional classroom space that allowed for a shift in organizational structure and teaching pedagogy. The design responded to the complexity of both social movement patterns, as project teams are developed and change based on the research project at hand; as well as the functional movement of material to support these teams.
Additionally, the organization of the space ultimately consisted of simple autonomous components that can be combined into various sizes and arrangements allowing individuals freedom to interact with one another to collectively solve problems. Diagrammatically, then this fluid organizational function must be accommodated by the existing interior envelope we were given. The objects (worktables, screens, and storage units) can assemble in a variety of ways, and have differing gravity or importance impact the organizational system of the room.
The Greater Cleveland Council of the Boy Scouts of America in partnership with NASA, and the Natural History Museum have embarked on a facility designed and programmed to improve environmental research and educational opportunities for pre-k through college age students. The center is designed as a living experiment where the building will showcase the latest in sustainable building practices and provide a base for research of solar and wind power, and impact studies, as well as education of native plant, animal and aquatic life.
Correcting past sins is one of the things studioTECHNE is frequently hired to do. In the case of Heights High, a series of additions has rendered the building unusable. Entry for students, parents and the community is past the trash dumpster, and continues through a series of confusing corridors. Classrooms and hallways are small, and there is no space for the Small Schools Program to develop and grow. studioTECHNE is working with the Alumni Foundation, School Board and KnowledgeWorks to reclaim the past glory of the school. Removal of the 1960’s science wing addition will provide a courtyard and restore the Cedar Road presence of the school. In conjunction with this, a new school entry on the north side of the building designed in harmony with the existing facility will provide an obvious place of entry to the building. Community access and use of the facility is improved with the public being invited to use the new auditorium, state of the art wireless resource center, and aquatic center. Designing the facility in harmony with the existing building does not preclude the introduction of state of the art technology and sustainable design principles. The Students, Teachers, and learning environment benefit from abundant daylight, operable windows and improved indoor air quality. Additionally, providing sufficient space for programs means the students will have generous spaces for hallways and places to meet and interact.
Cleveland Heights-University Heights (CH-UH) City School District is committed to providing academic excellence. This is expressed powerfully in the district’s vision of Preparing All Students for Success in A Global Economy (PASSAGE). Many measures have been taken by the district to create a challenging and relevant curriculum in a nurturing environment to accomplish this vision. This initiative implements Project Based Learning and focused on developing student focused learning environments in a variety of building typologies from 1920’s post war buildings to 1970’s buildings constructed as open plan schools. The first step was to create a pilot project in Oxford Elementary, a 1921 architecturally significant neighborhood school, over one summer in order for teachers and students to begin working in a project based learning environment. The existing floor plan was a traditional double loaded corridor with three classrooms on each side. The design focused on supporting students Physiological, Psychological, Sociological, Environmental, Perceptual, and Emotional attributes. In order to support these fundamentals of learning and ensure “all children must have equal or equitable access to learning”2 the traditional classrooms were reconfigured to support small group discussion, one on one instruction, peer to peer learning, niches for quiet self-directed learning, spaces open to accommodate large group projects and activities. Developing these supportive spaces adjacent and in some cases connected to the classroom provided the enormous opportunity for students to learn in a variety of ways and the teacher opportunity to facilitate learning. In these new classroom environments, children are active learners engaged in hands-on interactions, play and discovery.
Practically, design and documentation was completed in two months so that June 9th construction could begin. Existing conditions were accurately documented, construction documents were thorough according to the studioTECHNE standard of care; construction proceeded with very few surprises (removal of large sections of 24” corridor walls went exceptionally smoothly) and work was completed on time for the opening of school in August.
Working with troubled youth has been the calling for Ted Ginn Sr., current coach of the Glenville High Track and Football Teams. His vision for reaching, developing and saving the youth of the inner city has lead him to partner with the City of Cleveland School District to form a Charter School. The mission of the school is to provide an ideal learning environment where young men will receive individual mentoring, learn respect, and gain the self confidence they need to succeed in life. The campus will consist of 3 buildings surrounding a quad. An academic building is structured to provide a Small School learning environment where the students will be broken down into 4 academic schools with class size limited to 18 students per class. Each academic environment is set up to allow for teaching to multiple intelligences, while allowing space for two classes to combine for special projects. An English-History, or a Math-Science module is easily accommodated in the project area. Many of the students coming to this school will be coming from difficult home circumstances. These students will be accommodated in the dorm facility, where councilors and support staff will provide the social services these students are in need of. Continuing the tradition of athletic excellence, a field house will provide the students much needed space for exercise and fitness, a key component to Mr. Ginn’s philosophy of using athletics to teach children self discipline, and self worth. Currently, the school is entering a fund-raising campaign and classes are set to start in the fall.
Hawken’s new Early Childhood Center provides a Regio Emilia inspired environment that supports their nationally recognized early childhood programming. The interior of the new facility, designed in collaboration with Creative Environments Design Collaborative, focused on developing inspiring spaces to accommodate Hawken’s unique developmental continuum, which is grounded in the belief that the aesthetic environment plays a significant role in a child’s development. Hawken’s new space enhances programming by inspiring exploration, supporting a range of social learning experiences, and encouraging development of motor skills.
Phase I of Hawken’s new Early Childhood Center was completed in August 2011 and includes a shared community space with kitchen area; additional prekindergarten classrooms; renovated classrooms; upgraded office, conference, and faculty spaces; and a new Learning Enhancement Center.
Phase II will be completed in August 2012 and includes a new facade that continues the Georgian architecture of the existing Lyndhurst campus, a new Lower School entrance, and classroom renovations are not copies of the original, but allow a harmony to form between the buildings of the campus.
In attempting to implement a new middle school curriculum that reflected an educational pedagogy of small class size and flexible learning spaces, Hawken School realized their facilities would not support this new direction. studioTECHNE was hired to implement a site master plan designed by David M. Schwartz and Associates and design the new middle school building. Working with administration, faculty, and students, studioTECHNE led a series of workshops designed to first understand the new curricula and secondly to work through model classrooms that would support an educational plan directed at teaching to multiple intelligences. The building design developed inside out, with classroom placement, support spaces and learning centers being designed and arranged within the new facility to reflect the schools need for small group, grade level and school level teaching assignments. Once complete, design attention focused on the exterior. The campus is a collection of buildings each of their own decade, the schools direction was to follow the "truth" found in the character of the original 1920’s Georgian Hall in which the school was founded. We achieved this goal by designing the building's details and motifs to compliment but not copy the original, allowing a harmony to form between the two buildings.
The design solution for an innovative problem based, experiential learning center begins with the engagement of administration, faculty, staff and students in a dynamic process that gains an understanding of the school pedagogy and expected learning experience required to support problem based learning. Teaching spaces were viewed as laboratories, or studios where hands-on individual learning, participatory learning, and group learning are all supported. The teaching studios are surrounded by fabrication labs, media creation labs, common spaces and an entrepreneurship center allowing immediate access to making as a direct function of learning. Allowing students a complex and dynamic experience where they can engage learning with self confidence and determination, have spaces for disciplined analysis, and spaces for creative exploration; spaces where above all else they are able to engage their instructors and other students with empathy and integrity.
studioTECHNE joined Feilding Nair International to work with Magnificat High School on their Surround Leaning Center. This term invented by Sister Helen Jean Novy, is a concept that connects the physical environment, new learning methodologies, and information and communication technologies for creating a holistic and enriched learning experience. Taking spaces original to the 1970’s construction of the school, our firms worked to redesign these spaces is to create a seamless environment between learning and the physical space. To begin the process, a series of immersive Discovery Workshops were held which engaged students, faculty, parents, and community members to collectively explore concepts and ideas for the Project. These workshops were followed by design workshops and finally, implementation. Phase I was completed August 2012, Phase II was completed August 2013.
What happens when the EIFS cladding of your 22 year old sorority house has failed at windows and roof edges allowing significant penetration of water into the wall system and students are about to move back in for the beginning of school? Case Western Reserve University’s Housing Department called the one firm they knew could manage these problems. studioTECHNE had previously surveyed this building as part of the Housing Audit and made a number of recommendations to the University for the repair and restoration of the building. The client wanted longevity in any solution. Their reinvestment had to last more than 22 years. First steps included directing the removal of the entire exterior wall system, removal of all windows, skylights and roofing and remediating any damage. Repairs began with installing a spray on permeable weather barrier, addition of new insulation on the walls and roof; and construction of a properly vented and detailed brick rainscreen system around the building. Sone detailing was added to compliment the surrounding historic homes and buildings. The roof was extended past the exterior walls, new flashing and gutter details were installed along with a 50 year dimensional shingle roof.
Utilizing our extensive experience with forensic building analysis, and knowledge of building construction techniques, studioTECHNE was able to use the defined budget to properly repair the entire building exterior providing CWRU with a project that will provide a safe, healthy, energy efficient environment for students, that minimizes maintenance and repair issues for the next 50 years.
Moving from their suite in the Biomedical Research Building to a warehouse on Cedar Avenue provided an opportunity for the staff and directors at CWRU’s MediaVision to reinvent their workspace. MediaVision provides audio and video production services to the university. Faced with moving off campus into a cavernous warehouse space initially seemed impossible, but working with studioTECHNE a well crafted space suited to their needs was developed. Issues of no exterior view and concerns over image were quickly overcome by developing a bright color palette based on the colors found in their video test screens.
The main aesthetic interest was in open, multi-purpose space, with exposed utilities and cable tray. The design criteria, involves building a facility that meets the daily demands of live production and post production by utilizing the latest technology that can support a 24-hour operation with little maintenance.
The primary goal for the new studio is to be highly automated to utilize manpower efficiently, have high ceilings for studios, utilize the latest in digital technology, yet still support legacy formats, have an infrastructure to support satellite and microwave transmit and receive capability on site, and easily integrate with the university’s network infrastructure with fiber-optic connectivity. It will need to be accessible for equipment loading and unloading and have accommodations for satellite truck parking.
studioTECHNE has completed programming, conceptual design, three-dimensional visualization, and budgeting for the renovations and additions to the Clara Fritzsche Library and Classroom Expansion for the campus of Notre Dame College. The building project will change the current under-utilized library into a center for learning and student life. Central to the design of this 24-hour building, will be the first-floor commons area where students will meet to study in the Falcon Cafe and coffee shop, access online content on the wireless network, or adjacent public computers. The Commons is also home to the school book store, the student art gallery, a large reading room and small group study rooms. The collection is distributed across the remainder of the first floor and lower levels along with a series of classrooms and meeting rooms. The second floor is a dedicated learning center. Here students utilize the computer and language labs and connect to their colleagues across the world in the media presentation room. The renovation takes the opportunity to update the existing building systems and provide a LEED Silver model learning environment for the College.