Contract - Pioneering Spirit

design - features - corporate design



Pioneering Spirit

14 April, 2009

-By Katie Weeks, Photography by Chris J. Roberts Photography



For the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students at Pioneer Middle School in DuPont, Wash., lessons aren't just presented in the classroom. Thanks to a design from DLR Group, the classrooms themselves are lessons in sustainability.

"We had several meetings with the staff about what they were teaching and what we could do with the building to support that and help develop global citizens," says Craig Mason, principal and designer at DLR Group in Seattle. Sustainable tactics were high on the list for all involved.

At the new, 106,500-sq.-ft. facility, which opened in September 2008, outdoor views are abundant, capitalizing on the school's location on a 20-acre site that is also home to the state's oldest grove of Savannah oak trees. "Working on a site with landmarked trees could be a challenge, but it ended up being more of an opportunity," notes Mason.

On-site parking is minimized to support and promote alternative transportation (with special parking available for carpool and alternative fuel vehicles), and the scale of the school was kept low so as not to overpower the trees or the residential area nearby. Natural light floods the interiors through large windows and skylights, and the building's orientation maximizes daylight penetration to reduce dependence on electric lighting. Food and herb gardens separate classroom wings to further integrate the building and its locale into daily curriculum.

Inside, the teaching tools continue. Building systems are exposed so students can learn from them and interactive touchscreens provide easy access to data on water, gas, and electricity use in each building wing. Additional signage, which can be updated as needed by teachers, further demonstrates how the building design reduces the structure's environmental impact and suggests ways students can further incorporate sustainable practices.

"It was fun to work with the staff and come up with ideas that supported learning and also highlighted sustainable strategies," says Mason. "We focused on what had the greatest impact on learning, such as daylighting, acoustics, energy savings." The team also worked in accordance with the High-Performance School Buildings Program (formerly the Washington Sustainable Schools Program), which sets sustainability standards for K–12 school projects in the state, and under this program, the project received a grant that supported additional sustainable initiatives. For instance, it assisted in the installation of solar tubes that help light second-floor classrooms and allowed the team to add more recycled content in the building.

Spatially, the building consists of three two-story wings that support inter-disciplinary teaming organized by grade level. Conceptually, the school's layout is based on a holistic vision of mind, body, and spirit. The library (representing the mind), the fitness center (body), and the cafeteria (spirit) are placed around a central commons. If the building is seen as a living organism, then the commons is its heart, which then branches out to administrative offices, the attendance office, a student body conference room, a student store, a computer lab, and the like. "Everything the students access comes off of this one area," notes Mason. Further accenting the wow factor of the commons is the second-floor library, whose sloped form (itself a lesson in geometry) juts out over the ground floor. In a nod to the surrounding oak trees the library is crafted to resemble a modern tree house, and accordingly, the space is nicknamed "Tree of Knowledge."

Students aren't the only ones learning in the new space. "When we came into this building, it was more than just a new building. There were so many sustainable features highlighted that it changed the whole culture, the way that the kids think, and the way we think about our lessons," says Laura Lowe, a math and science teacher at Pioneer. Adds Mason, "The teachers are finding new and interesting ways to teach that are focused around the building," which sounds like a passing grade for all involved.


who
Project: Pioneer Middle School. Client: Steilacoom Historical School District #1. Architect, interior designer, structural, mechanical/electrical engineer, lighting designer: DLR Group. General contractor: Babbit Neuman Construction Co. Construction manager: Hill International. Acoustician: SSA Acoustics. Furniture dealer: Business Interiors NW. Photographer: Chris J. Roberts Photography.

what
Wallcoverings: Koroseal. Paint: Rodda. Laminate: Wilsonart. Dry wall: BPB America. Masonry: Basalite. Flooring: Armstrong, Action. Carpet/carpet tile: C&A. Carpet fiber: Dynex BCF Nylon. Carpet backing: Powerbond (C&A). Ceiling: Armstrong World Industries. Lighting: Lightolier, Widelite. Doors: VT Industries. Door hardware: Corbin Russwin. Glass: Hartung Glass Industries, Inc. Window frames: EFCO. Window treatments: Bali, Draper. Railings: CAB Fabrication. Students' desks and seating, laboratory benches and stools: SIS-USA. Teachers' desks, and library and conference tables: Bretford. Teachers' seating, administrative desks, administrative seating and lounge seating, other seating and other tables, files: Herman Miller. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Sit-On-It. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: American Table. Seating upholstery: Maharam. Library and conference seating: Brandrud. Library shelves, office shelving, cabinetmaking: Westmark. Architectural woodworking: Babbit Neuman Const. Co. Signage: Media Inc. Elevators: Kone. HVAC: Trane. Fire safety and security: Siemens. Building management system: Andover Controls. Plumbing fixtures: Eljer, Elkay.

where
Location: DuPont, WA. Total floor area: 108,000 sq. ft. No. of floors: 2. Average floor size: 74,000 sq. ft., 1st floor; 34,000 sq. ft., 2nd floor. Student capacity: 850. Cost/sq. ft.: $230/sq. ft.




Pioneering Spirit

14 April, 2009


Chris J. Roberts Photography

For the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students at Pioneer Middle School in DuPont, Wash., lessons aren't just presented in the classroom. Thanks to a design from DLR Group, the classrooms themselves are lessons in sustainability.

"We had several meetings with the staff about what they were teaching and what we could do with the building to support that and help develop global citizens," says Craig Mason, principal and designer at DLR Group in Seattle. Sustainable tactics were high on the list for all involved.

At the new, 106,500-sq.-ft. facility, which opened in September 2008, outdoor views are abundant, capitalizing on the school's location on a 20-acre site that is also home to the state's oldest grove of Savannah oak trees. "Working on a site with landmarked trees could be a challenge, but it ended up being more of an opportunity," notes Mason.

On-site parking is minimized to support and promote alternative transportation (with special parking available for carpool and alternative fuel vehicles), and the scale of the school was kept low so as not to overpower the trees or the residential area nearby. Natural light floods the interiors through large windows and skylights, and the building's orientation maximizes daylight penetration to reduce dependence on electric lighting. Food and herb gardens separate classroom wings to further integrate the building and its locale into daily curriculum.

Inside, the teaching tools continue. Building systems are exposed so students can learn from them and interactive touchscreens provide easy access to data on water, gas, and electricity use in each building wing. Additional signage, which can be updated as needed by teachers, further demonstrates how the building design reduces the structure's environmental impact and suggests ways students can further incorporate sustainable practices.

"It was fun to work with the staff and come up with ideas that supported learning and also highlighted sustainable strategies," says Mason. "We focused on what had the greatest impact on learning, such as daylighting, acoustics, energy savings." The team also worked in accordance with the High-Performance School Buildings Program (formerly the Washington Sustainable Schools Program), which sets sustainability standards for K–12 school projects in the state, and under this program, the project received a grant that supported additional sustainable initiatives. For instance, it assisted in the installation of solar tubes that help light second-floor classrooms and allowed the team to add more recycled content in the building.

Spatially, the building consists of three two-story wings that support inter-disciplinary teaming organized by grade level. Conceptually, the school's layout is based on a holistic vision of mind, body, and spirit. The library (representing the mind), the fitness center (body), and the cafeteria (spirit) are placed around a central commons. If the building is seen as a living organism, then the commons is its heart, which then branches out to administrative offices, the attendance office, a student body conference room, a student store, a computer lab, and the like. "Everything the students access comes off of this one area," notes Mason. Further accenting the wow factor of the commons is the second-floor library, whose sloped form (itself a lesson in geometry) juts out over the ground floor. In a nod to the surrounding oak trees the library is crafted to resemble a modern tree house, and accordingly, the space is nicknamed "Tree of Knowledge."

Students aren't the only ones learning in the new space. "When we came into this building, it was more than just a new building. There were so many sustainable features highlighted that it changed the whole culture, the way that the kids think, and the way we think about our lessons," says Laura Lowe, a math and science teacher at Pioneer. Adds Mason, "The teachers are finding new and interesting ways to teach that are focused around the building," which sounds like a passing grade for all involved.


who
Project: Pioneer Middle School. Client: Steilacoom Historical School District #1. Architect, interior designer, structural, mechanical/electrical engineer, lighting designer: DLR Group. General contractor: Babbit Neuman Construction Co. Construction manager: Hill International. Acoustician: SSA Acoustics. Furniture dealer: Business Interiors NW. Photographer: Chris J. Roberts Photography.

what
Wallcoverings: Koroseal. Paint: Rodda. Laminate: Wilsonart. Dry wall: BPB America. Masonry: Basalite. Flooring: Armstrong, Action. Carpet/carpet tile: C&A. Carpet fiber: Dynex BCF Nylon. Carpet backing: Powerbond (C&A). Ceiling: Armstrong World Industries. Lighting: Lightolier, Widelite. Doors: VT Industries. Door hardware: Corbin Russwin. Glass: Hartung Glass Industries, Inc. Window frames: EFCO. Window treatments: Bali, Draper. Railings: CAB Fabrication. Students' desks and seating, laboratory benches and stools: SIS-USA. Teachers' desks, and library and conference tables: Bretford. Teachers' seating, administrative desks, administrative seating and lounge seating, other seating and other tables, files: Herman Miller. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Sit-On-It. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: American Table. Seating upholstery: Maharam. Library and conference seating: Brandrud. Library shelves, office shelving, cabinetmaking: Westmark. Architectural woodworking: Babbit Neuman Const. Co. Signage: Media Inc. Elevators: Kone. HVAC: Trane. Fire safety and security: Siemens. Building management system: Andover Controls. Plumbing fixtures: Eljer, Elkay.

where
Location: DuPont, WA. Total floor area: 108,000 sq. ft. No. of floors: 2. Average floor size: 74,000 sq. ft., 1st floor; 34,000 sq. ft., 2nd floor. Student capacity: 850. Cost/sq. ft.: $230/sq. ft.

 


Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
*Username: 
*Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 




follow us

advertisement


advertisement






advertisement


advertisement




Contract Magazine is devoted to highlighting creative interior design trends and ideas that are shaping the industry on a daily basis. Contract is proud to provide you with the most comprehensive coverage of commercial interior design products and resources that procure uniqueness when designing a space. Contract is the modern interior design magazine that recognizes fresh interior design ideas and projects powerful interior design resources.

 

Contract Magazine Home | Interior Design News | Interior Planning Products | Interior Design Research | Interior Design Competitions | Interior Design Resources | Interactive Interior Designing | Digital/Print Versions | Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us | Advertising Opportunities | Subscriber FAQs | RSS | Sitemap

© Emerald Expositions 2014. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy