COLUMBIA, SC – Quackenbush Architects + Planners received two American Institute of Architects South Carolina Chapter (AIASC) awards for its innovative work on School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties Chapin Middle School and the Richland County School District One Heyward Career & Technology Center.
The annual awards, presented virtually at the AIASC 2020 Design Awards ceremony on December 3, are the state’s highest recognition of excellence in design, recognizing projects, architects and owners throughout the state who exemplify vision, creativity and design innovation.
Quackenbush Architects + Planners received a New Construction Merit Award for its design of the new Chapin Middle School. The Q+ design reflects a 21st-century, student collaborative and smaller-community-within-a-whole learning environment. The 160,000-square-foot design transforms the traditional “factory school” idea of learning into one with flexible environments that support project-based learning, critical thinking and innovation. The new school building also includes comprehensive wellness and arts components, a state-of-the-art media center and an array of specialized science and arts classrooms.
Three classroom “houses” are organized around a core of flexible collaborative spaces connected to a central two-story spine—called the academic Main Street—that allows views of the entire building. Natural light permeates the Main Street, offering a feeling a spaciousness, warmth and energy. Learning spaces throughout the school incorporate technology that supports digital communication, and each academic house includes access to a secure exterior courtyard for outdoor learning.
AIASC jurors commented that they were excited to see how the design team integrated diverse flexible collaborative learning environments as both interior and exterior spaces. “We were also excited to see how the thoughtful sectional moments that happened along the circulation spine transformed the act of changing classes into a dynamic experience,” they said.
Quackenbush Architects + Planners also garnered an Interior Architecture Citation Award for its Culinary Arts lab addition to the Heyward Career & Technology Center. The addition, which now serves as a centerpiece entry to the existing vocational training center, received high marks for an innovative design that includes three large stainless-steel cooking suites that integrate counter space, storage and cooking equipment. Each suite can accommodate six to seven students, and the distinctive layout allows instructor and students to easily interact. A generous expanse of north-facing glass also creates natural daylighting as well as views of outdoor space.
The AIASC jury praised the connection between the teaching kitchen and the outside, as well as the amount of natural light into a space that is often treated as a back of house space in school buildings. “We also liked how the small garden areas were incorporated into the wall sections,” the jurors said.
“We’re honored to receive these recognitions for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects South Carolina,” says Q+ President Doug Quackenbush, AIA LEED, AP. “We’re proud to create designs that serve our communities well.”
Quackenbush Architects + Planners
Quackenbush Architects + Planners is a full-service architecture and planning firm located in Columbia, SC. The firm specializes in institutional, civic, educational, and commercial projects. Its services span from building design to land planning to interior design. The firm’s portfolio includes projects for universities, cities, colleges, government agencies, school districts, and private clients. The team’s work reflects a commitment to innovation, sensitivity to our regional context, and the richness that comes from collaboration with our clients and the community. Visit www.quackenbusharchitects.com for more.
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