Taking advantage of an underutilized site, the construction of Ivy Street Center created an opportunity to re-purpose, activate, and transform the location into a central pedestrian hub that welcomes visitors and serves as a connector for the campus. Previously informal student paths between buildings were embraced and converted into covered arcades. Raised on a 3’ plinth at the edge of a major creek’s flood plain, the building resolves storm water runoff and flooding concerns through the use of broad steps that serve as waiting areas for student pick-up protected by a tapered stone pier and wood deck canopy.
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.