01 Nov Creative Design Solutions for a Next Gen Innovation Center for Bay Area Girls High School
Center for Innovation, Carondelet High School, Concord, CA
The first projects to be developed from the Ratcliff master plan is a new two-story Innovation Center and a new one-story Makerspace building (see construction cam video). As the over-arching goal of the master plan is to connect new and existing buildings to each other and to the quad, two new bridges will connect the existing academic building and the Makerspace to the new STEM Center. In 21st education, every space on campus should be a learning space, both academically and socially.
Designed to complement the existing campus vernacular, the STEM Innovation Center will be a post-tensioned concrete structure clad in metal panel, brick, and curtain wall. Designed for flexibility, the classroom environments surround a central atrium space for presentations, small gatherings and group projects. Internal sliding glass panels will allow the classroom spaces to change in size and connect to adjacent interior spaces. Exterior roll up doors will be located in each ground floor classroom to connect to outdoor areas.
The Makerspace will be constructed of a light weight pre-engineered metal building system with metal panels for siding. Roll-up doors will connect the interior teaching spaces to the adjacent outdoor area. The Makerspace environments will be “shop” type spaces that can be used for a variety of purposes related to fabrication and experimentation. A sound wall will be added on the South edge of the tennis court to provide a light buffer to neighbors.
Hardscape and landscape will accommodate outdoor learning and improve connectivity. Seating areas will be added for the students to gather and sit as well as provide transitions between different pathway elevations. Outdoor classroom environments will be located adjacent to each of the ground floor classrooms. The STEM Innovation Center will displace a portion of the existing lawn area; however, a small portion of lawn will be retained. Bio-swales in several locations will be added to handle storm water management and C3 requirements. The STEM Innovation Center will seek LEED Silver certification.