Sited on an intermediate height plinth on the edge of a major creek’s flood plain, the building addresses storm water runoff and flooding concerns: Storm water is both captured and delayed by a combination of rain garden and a 3,400 gallon cistern. The rain water is saved from two sources: the sloped gym roof and condensate from the HVAC system and used for irrigation of the planted ‘rain garden’ area. In response to flooding concerns, the building is elevated on a three foot tall plinth, expressed as a continuous set of steps along the northern edge.
After five decades of building inwardly focused buildings with both limited openness and connection to their surroundings, the School desired a more extroverted and transparent building for its new facility, expressing the School’s missions of community service and respect for the environment as part of its development of a well-rounded student.
To fulfill the promise of creating a new-century learning environment that prepares students for a changing world, the design team crafted learning spaces that promote collaboration while supporting a variety of learning styles.
The resulting project is the complete renovation of the existing three-story, 80,000-SF academic building and the construction of the new Ivy Street Center, a three-story, 55,000-SF, eco-friendly, truly multidisciplinary facility.
Beyond the building, features include a more walkable campus inviting foot traffic, outdoor breakout spaces, a rain garden clearly emphasizing sustainability, and entryways that also encourage collaboration while providing display for learning-focused exhibits.