Check out Building Design + Construction’s June magazine—American Canyon High School is the cover story! The article explores how building information modeling lent itself to the design of the first CHPS verified school in California. Visit BDC website for magazine subscription info.
Archive for June, 2009
Several months ago Aaron and I thought the Open Architecture Challenge, put on by Architecture for Humanity might be worth the effort, especially since this year the challenge was to design a classroom. (For more on the Challenge go openarchitecturenetwork.org/competitions/challenge/2009) As it turned out there was so much interest that we decided to split into two groups. Aaron, Chad, Terry Calder, Tony Miller and Tenaya chose an after school tutoring program in a portable at Meadow View Elementary School. I will let Aaron tell you more about their entry, but it is a remarkable transformation of a portable classroom building.
The group I joined with Sara, Janelle, Lyanne, Barry, Rocely, Jeff and Jim Theiss chose an elementary girls school in Yazd, Iran. Never heard of Yazd? Neither had we, except for Sara. She has a cousin that teaches at this school and we had relatively easy access to photos, answers to our many questions and best of all, drawings from the children. Their drawings of the ideal classroom was a major source of our inspiration.
Competitions are a mixed bag. We all have plenty to do in our lives. Several members, as it turned out, had directly competing insanely short “real” project deadlines. Design competitions offer the obvious chance to design, but thrill is short lived when you are working nights and weekends to complete real projects. But something special happened with our group, something completely unexpected. Just at the exact time it was needed, individual team members stepped up and provided the most amazing work. Rocely and Jim sketched up similar inspired design solutions for the new classroom building. Jeff did his usual daylighting analysis magic. Sara selected the images and text and Janelle put it all together in Illustrator for the final submittal. Sara was our fearless leader and wrote the required descriptive text. Everyone seemed to have the just the right minor suggestion to make it look and sound perfect. I admit to having way too much fun building the model in Sketchup. Check out our animations on YouTube.(Search for Yazd classroom)
It is a rare event when the chemistry, talent and the challenge at hand are perfectly matched. Egos were set aside and the final result shows what true collaboration can produce. It was an amazing experience.
It’s a cliche to say that regardless what Architecture for Humanity says, we have already won, but it’s true. No matter how it turns out, we have all learned much about the culture and architecture of a city called Yazd in central Iran. Who knew little girls in Iran would be so fascinated with butterflies?
Maybe we will build the classroom even if we don’t win. Wouldn’t that be something?