Barrie School Research + Learning Lab and Studio
Winner of the 2013 AIA Baltimore Grand Design Award!
Embracing a new paradigm in learning and educational delivery, the Barrie School has begun a series of improvements as part of their recent master plan. Employing a modular construction approach, the school brought on line two compact, high performing learning environments, the Studio and the Research + Learning Lab. By taking advantage of a less arduous jurisdictional approval process, these two buildings were built as replacements to two aging modular structures.
The buildings are a clear demonstration of Barrie’s commitment to 21st-century learning and sustainability. The new learning studios physically embrace this dynamic curriculum and support opportunities for student and faculty collaboration, communication and creativity through highly flexible and adaptable interior spaces. They easily convert into large group learning spaces, multiple small group collaboration areas and a large town hall lecture room. This is supported by flexible furniture; moveable wall panels that provide smart board use and support acoustic control; and, ideally located exterior windows that provide optimal interior layout and meaningful student views.
Designed with its end users in mind, students and faculty all play a critical role in the building’s operation with thermal controls, operable windows and lighting controls as they collectively track and fine tune the buildings performance. This is partially achieved through a user centered management system but is firmly reinforced through unwavering systems that manage the building’s energy use. Cisterns utilize rainwater to support moderate irrigation while supplementing non-potable water use. Additional sustainable elements such as the re-use of the existing foundation piers and recycling the old portable structures are illustrated on interior walls in select areas of the building serving as an interpretive learning opportunity.