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Su Valley Jr/Sr High School Talkeetna, Alaska New High School Project of Distinction McCool Carlson Green Architects 2011 Exhibition of School Planning.

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Presentation on theme: "Su Valley Jr/Sr High School Talkeetna, Alaska New High School Project of Distinction McCool Carlson Green Architects 2011 Exhibition of School Planning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Su Valley Jr/Sr High School Talkeetna, Alaska New High School Project of Distinction McCool Carlson Green Architects 2011 Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture

2 Su Valley Jr/Sr High School Main Exterior Image

3 Site Plan The school is located in the same general location as the old school leveraging existing infrastructure to reduce development costs while creating a logical arrangement of site elements. The entry sequence gradually reveals the new school first with the extended clerestory projecting from the east end, then the gently curving south façade culminating at the dramatic entrance canopy. New pedestrian pathways and vehicle exit address existing site safety concerns.

4 Trial by Fire Following the destruction of the old school by fire in June 2007, the Mat Su Borough acted decisively to meet community needs. Prior to fall semester a temporary facility was established and a planning team was in place to design the new school. With less than 2 months to explore new directions, create an educational specification and develop a concept design, the project team adopted an integrated approach combining concept design activities with visioning exercises in a series of interactive user driven workshops. Breaking from the usual linear progression this process created unique opportunities and insights as design and program discussions evolved on parallel tracks. The more than 200 participants included a broad range of school and community partners and every student in the school. Schematic Design Visioning Planning Concept Design September 2007 December 2007

5 Know our Kids! Due to past conflicts the initial planning session began with an air of tension and concern. The initial exercise simply asked each participant to discuss their hopes and apprehensions One of the most telling statements came from Sandra Dawn White, the local representative on the school board: I want the design team to understand who our kids are...when they aren't in school they are hiking on the tallest mountain in North America, flying airplanes and landing them on lakes, pulling fish half their size out of the river, riding snow machines to school...if we want our kids to be excited about coming to school, it has to be an exciting place.

6 Be Efficient Scalable spaces combine and separate throughout the day to meet multiple program needs. A prime example is the welcoming entry where lobby, library, multipurpose room, stage and music rooms flow together to create a flexible, multifunctional environment that accommodates everything from quiet study to community banquets. Although the school is designed to support 225 students, and the building area is allocated accordingly, the synergy provided by the planning relationships allows the school to provide opportunities normally found only in larger schools. Lunch/Informal LearningExpanded Performance VenueFormal Performance Venue

7 We want it all! As part of the strategy to expand athletic, performance and career tech space the school staff explored the idea of sharing classroom spaces over time. Flex spaces between classrooms facilitate sharing by providing personal space for teachers to occupy while their classroom is in use by others. They also provide secure areas when the classrooms are used to overnight visiting athletic teams, a common occurrence in this remote location. Compact career tech areas make the most of limited space. Strategies include multi function labs and utilization of school food service areas for culinary arts instruction.

8 Inspire Us This bold and independent student body challenged the design team to create an environment that would engage their minds and bodies and stimulate creative thinking. The new school responds to that challenge bringing the power of the Alaskan landscape, sustainable building technologies and the community values together in a dynamic learning environment. The new school creates a positive and visible focus that is at once fun and serious, promoting student and community pride in its strong sense of purpose and unique expression.

9 Honor our Community Focusing on the schools signature, Learning with Art & Nature, and the local character the planning/design team crafted a facility that honors the independent artistic spirit of a community that is grounded in the wild landscape of Alaska. Local stone and wood are set in an integrated earth themed color scheme. The spruce logs that support the entrance canopies were actually salvaged from a local forest that was killed by beetle infestation and wood ceilings are milled from local cottonwood trees. More than a dozen nature based works from Alaskan artists populate the school creating a lively dialogue between art, architecture and the Alaskan environment.

10 Floor plan Insert large format floor plan Note: Please add additional slides for additional floors

11 Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture 2010 Project Data Submitting FirmMcCool Carlson Green Architects Project RolePrime/Architect Project ContactMichael Carlson TitlePrincipal Architect Address901 Photo Avenue City, State or Province, CountryAnchorage, Alaska, Phone907/ Joint Partner Firm:BrainSpaces Project RoleEducational Planner Project ContactPeter Brown TitleEducational Planner Address City, State or Province, CountryDallas, Texas Phone469/ Other Firm:Mat Su Borough Project RoleProject Management Project ContactBob Bechtold TitleProject Manager Address350 E Dahlia City, State or Province, CountryPalmer, Alaska Phone(907) Construction Firm:Collins Construction Project RoleGeneral Contractor Project ContactGreg Waisanen TitleGeneral Contractor AddressPO Box City, State or Province, CountryWasilla AK Phone(907)

12 Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture 2010 Project Details Project Name Su Valley Junior/Senior High School City Talkeetna State Alaska District Name Matanuska Susitna Borough School District Supt/President Kenneth Stephen Burnley, Ph.D. Occupancy Date January 2010 Grades Housed 7-12 Capacity(Students) 225 Site Size (acres) 40 Gross Area (sq. ft.) 50,000 Per Occupant(pupil) 222 gross/net please indicate 1.4 Design and Build? no If yes, Total Cost: Includes: If no, Site Development: 1,000,000 Building Construction: 17,164,632 Fixed Equipment: 2,000,000 Other: 2,335,368 Total: 22,500,000

13 Site Analysis Mt. McKinley from the Talkeetna area Far North Challenges Locating the new school in the footprint of the old facility provided extensive cost savings allowing reuse of water well, driveways, parking and athletic fields. The schools orientation towards the short winter solar arc became an important determining factor for the building planning and architecture. Winter days have fewer than 5 hours of sunlight and solar angles of less than 10 degrees above the horizon. Situated in the shadow of North Americas tallest peak this site experiences winter temperatures to -40 degrees and is covered in snow from October to April.

14 Engage Me The welcome center is located for positive monitoring of the main entrance and common spaces. The school reception desk juts out into the circulation space to encourage interaction between staff and students and visitors. Supervision is passive and natural in the open inviting common space. This is a school where the secretary knows every student on a personal level and provides academic and social support through daily interaction.

15 Outside the Classroom Informal learning spaces are everywhere throughout the school. More than just found spaces they are strategically sized and located to facilitate multiple group sizes, anytime/anywhere learning and reinforce the close knit family atmosphere of the school.

16 Never Forget In this small community students develop strong ties to their school and each other. While many of them leave after graduation to pursue education and careers not available locally they return to the school frequently. It is a hub of community activity and a repository of important memories. Workshops hosted with students revealed a strong interest in leaving a part of themselves permanently at the school. Something they could revisit and something that future generations of students could ponder. Memory panels created by each graduating class integrate that impulse into the school architecture creating a continuum of cuture and place over time. 50 panels were installed initially and can easily be expanded as need arises.

17 Northern Light Access to sunlight is a critical consideration in the far north where the winter sun is in scarce supply. High occupancy spaces, including classrooms are oriented to the south while the building interior is animated by a continuous clerestory that channels the low-angle sunlight. This LEED Silver facility is the most northern certified school in USGBCs inventory. Lighting systems support the school themes creating subtle color shifts at the virtual hearth evoking the colors of the Aurora Borealis and defining an intimate social learning space. Canted hallway lighting inspired by swans nests creates a lively visual dynamic.

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