The decision was made to organize the school around two distinct courtyards in order to accommodate the extremely complex facility that included separate bus and parent drop-off areas; athletic fields; classroom space for almost 3,000 students; common areas comprised of an auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria and media center; administration and student guidance suites; as well as music, art, and vocational labs.
Because of the difficult program requirements including different ventilation requirements and square footages for each type of room, there were no standard panels on the project. The well-defined entrances to the school, each unique in its massing, shape and color, are scaled appropriately in accordance with the building's organizational hierarchy. The main entrance, with its rounded pilaster and beams, allows students to pass nearby a massive Tilt-Up panel textured with formliner.
At the parent drop-off entrance, the corner of the building is "peeled" back using a double thick panel at the base and single thickness panel at the top. The auditorium’s broken, angular parapet draws the eye from the courtyard, as does the outdoor stage, also cast with splitface concrete block formliner. Playful elements like the art patio and childcare lab patio, with their random glass block patterns, act as a contrast to the powerful walls of the three-story classroom building. Formliners used in specific locations provide for accents at vertical circulation elements in the three-story building as well as an accent band at the gym.
In an effort to humanize the scale of the building, different accent colors were used for each wing so that students can refer to the blue, green or yellow wings when walking from class to class. A split-face block formliner, as well as different combinations of glass block, storefront glazing systems, and Tex-Cote, were among the finishes applied to the school.
Miami, FL 33185
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