Tag Archives: education

Manzanita Hall a 2015 Design Is…Award Market Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Market-Award winning projects from the 2015 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn more about the winning projects.  These are their stories.

Here, Stephanie LaVoy addresses the design process for Manzanita Hall in Tempe, AZ.

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Describe this project in one word.

Iconic.

How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?

The design team was challenged with modernizing a 1967 building, making it more functional and welcoming to students, while maintaining the historic architectural character.  The common areas were opened up, connecting previously segmented areas, creating more cohesive communal amenity areas that are so important in a modern residential hall.

The addition of the two story lounges connects residential floors to foster community interaction.  the lounges span between the unused exterior interstitial space of the building, exposing the original triangular lattice structure.  These neighborhood spaces provide residents with communal kitchens, lounges, laundry facilities and study rooms & encourage student interaction.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.

The design team began with learning about the history of Manzanita Hall, analyzing the functionality and where improvements could be made that would impact student life.  The team was sensitive to the iconic quality of the existing structure and worked hard to incorporate existing elements where appropriate, like the original terrazzo tile, and to echo the unique geometry of the structure with custom carpeting, lighting and artwork.  It was also important to balance the striking architectural elements & bold use of color and pattern to use a subtle finish palette of white, silver and grey.

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What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?

There are always unexpected issues when working with an existing structure, it’s important to be flexible and problem-solve when issues arise & find the most salient elements in order to maintain the integrity of the design.

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Mesa Community College a 2015 Design Is…Award Market Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Market-Award winning projects from the 2015 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn more about the winning projects.  These are their stories.

Here, Maria Salenger addresses the design process for Mesa Community College in Mesa, AZ.

Describe this project in one word. Rhythmic.

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How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?The architecture is spacious and energetic to give artists a flexible and inspiring place to be creative collaboratively.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.  Collecting the unique aspirations and needs of the college, we developed the project’s quantitative and qualitative aspects closely with our consultant team and user group. The design process of performing arts space is an enlightening experience no matter how many projects you have already completed.

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What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow? Listen to and trust in the vision of your client.

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Dunbarton High School Named Greenest School on Earth

Congratulations to Dunbarton High School in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, for earning the title of the 2015 Greenest School on Earth. This annual competition, sponsored by the Global Coalition for Green Schools (an initiative of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC), recognizes a K-12 school for achievement in its environmental impact, human health and ecoliteracy.

I was honored to be one of the judges for the competition and amazed at what these schools are doing to make a difference in their school and the world. Choosing a single winner was extremely difficult. While reviewing submissions, the jury discovered so many incredible things being done around the world. Dunbarton emerged the winner because of its success meeting each of the three pillars of the competition.

Because the buildings were built in the 1960s, the school focused its efforts to reduce environmental impact on inexpensive retrofits (paid by fundraising efforts from the Environmental Club) and behavioral changes that involve students, teachers, faculty, staff, and the community. I love the fact that the school plans to spend a portion of the prize money on a garden that will be 20% for its own use and 80% for the local food bank.

For the human health component, the school is looking long-term, with a seven-year campus biodiversity program to provide trees to shade an outdoor classroom. The commitment to health continues with providing nutritious options in the cafeteria and vending machines, as well as water fountains with reusable water bottles.

One of the initiatives that separated Dunbarton from the rest is how it’s addressing the remaining pillar – ecoliteracy. Students take what they learn and apply it to their school. For example, science classes monitor school and campus air quality, local stream water quality and school electricity use. The students then use this data to create a conservation plan.

Congratulations Environmental Council

​Pickering Area Trustee Chris Braney congratulating the Environmental Council on their award – Greenest School on Earth.

Seeing the resourceful leadership that went into these entries reinforces our sense of pride in being a partner with the Center for Green Schools. To support the Center and their initiatives, including the Greenest School on Earth competition, go to centerforgreenschools.org and check out Shaw Contract Group’s Cut & Compose collection, 3 tile and 2 broadloom styles for which we are donating 1.5% of the proceeds to the Center for Green Schools.

 

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Where we learn matters: Cut & Compose collection making a difference

All students should have the opportunity to attend a green school, and with the help of Shaw Contract Group’s new education collection, we can help make this a reality.

Cut & Compose brings bold, typographic design to interiors, while supporting the Center for Green Schools at the US Green Building Council in its mission to create green schools for everyone within this generation. 1.5% of all sales from this collection will go to the Green Apple initiative to transform educational spaces into healthier, safer, more sustainable learning environments. Rachel Gutter, Director, Center for Green Schools said, “We are excited to work with Shaw Contract Group to advance the message that where our children learn matters.”

Cut & Compose supports USGBC's Center for Green Schools' Green Apple Day of Service by driving awareness and   donating 1.5% of all sales of the product to the Center for Green Schools.

Cut & Compose supports USGBC’s Center for Green Schools’ Green Apple Day of Service by driving awareness and donating 1.5% of all sales from this collection to the Center for Green Schools.

Read more about this collection at usgbc.org here  and at centerforgreenschools.org here.

 

 

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STUDY: Classroom Design Can Affect How Children Learn

In a pilot study by the University of Salford and architects from Nightingale Associates, it was found that the classroom environment can affect a child’s academic progress over a year by as much as 25%. Factors such as colors, noise, personalization, natural light and fresh air were all evaluated in the study. Click HERE to read information on the Universities website regarding the study.

The Centennial Project – Lau Family Wing at Crescent School by CS&P Architects features Shaw Contract Group Forest tile

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