The Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) is a Knowledge Community of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). We are a large and active group of over 10,000 architects and allied professionals concerned with the quality and design of all types of educational, cultural, and recreational facilities that promote lifelong learning in safe, welcoming and equitable environments. The CAE’s mission is to foster innovative and collaborative design of educational facilities and to heighten public awareness on the importance of learning environments.
2014 Committee on Architecture for Education Design Excellence Award
The respectful repurposing of a landmark Venturi, Scott Brown decorated shed provides a new home for Drexel University’s College of Media Arts and Design. Key goals driving the project include bringing together disparate departments in one location and encouraging cross-collaboration between disciplines. To transform the former 130,000 square-foot office building and 13,000 square-foot annex, the designers embraced the realities of the shed—a cost-effective, four-story commercial box. The design concept focuses on respecting the original intent, making more with less, offering adaptable spaces for learning, and providing opportunities for learning through presentation.
An iconic Robert Venturi building has been sensitively repurposed to create a lively center for media arts and design. Carefully preserving playfully pattered exterior of Venturi’s ‘decorated shed’, this thoughtful adaptive re-use results in a dynamic and flexible learning environment. The atrium that slices through the original floors of the building defines the edges of flexible, intercommunicating spaces of varying scale which promote settings for work, study and collaborative interaction. The light-filled spaces are robustly detailed and unpretentious. The images of the reoccupied spaces clearly demonstrate how the interior reconfiguration of spaces allows for complete ownership by students and faculty. The revitalized building is clearly lived in and appreciated.
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