Tri-North Middle School

Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) identified the need to replace the aging Tri-North Middle School. CSO and BrainSpaces, an expert in brain-based educational planning and design, led a visioning and programming process that enabled CSO to design a new building tailored to the specific needs and vision of Tri-North students, teachers, and administrators.

The building layout utilizes next generation learning elements including an open media center, collaboration spaces, and small group rooms throughout the building. Teachers and administrators expressed the need for spaces to be flexible and adaptable to a rapidly changing educational world. CSO’s design addresses the need for flexibility by implementing features such as the use of operable theater seating in the Performance / Large Group Instruction space, operable partitions in Science and STEM labs, and spaces that are planned to facilitate the use of both departmental and interdisciplinary teaching models.

MCCSC also emphasized the need for sustainable design considerations which were implemented with plans for a geothermal system, solar array on the gym roof, and use of local materials and native plants. The new Tri-North Middle School has become a crown jewel for this Bloomington community.

Cathedral High School Innovation Center

The Innovation Center strengthens the school’s commitment to a flexible and focused learning environment, emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Learning Studios. The facility’s design encourages and promotes a collaborative experience in all of the learning spaces, and provides a more open, group-oriented Science area, de-emphasizing compartmentalized education and promoting group and team learning across several disciplines. The open Science area includes several laboratories in the same space allowing a more efficient teaching model, while providing enhanced interaction.

An informal study area and open faculty areas promote additional interaction among faculty and students. The proximity and accessibility of the faculty is purposeful. However, break out rooms and small group rooms support one-on-one meetings or private conversations. The learning spaces are intentionally transparent as well as flexible in order to adapt to the changing use of the space and the continued connection to the learning environments.

The Innovation Center also contains the relocated dining and kitchen space in the lower level, allowing students a more flexible approach to food service and more options to the traditional lunch period.  An additional Café allows students to utilize a “grab-n-go” concept during the day. The relocation of the campus cafeteria creates a destination for students during the course of the day, while also creating informal interaction areas in the adjacent spaces.  Additionally, a new Cathedral Spirit Shop is located near the cafeteria in a prominent location for both students and visiting parents/alumni.

Architecturally, The Innovation Center creates a new “front door” to campus.  The center is an addition to Kelly Hall on the courtyard between the existing Student Life Center (SLC) and Loretta Hall.  The new addition incorporates a three-story open atrium between the old Kelly Hall and the architecture of the new addition.  Exterior materials used on the addition are blonde brick (same used on SLC), glass, metal panel and stone veneer panels.  The old limestone façade of Kelly Hall will be preserved and will be the feature of the new, glass-enclosed front entrance.

MADE@Plainfield

The vision for the Center was to provide a wide variety of educational learning and collaboration spaces, including specialty labs for robotics, PLC, warehousing, industrial maintenance, testing and health occupations. Multiple educational partners were recruited to share this facility to ensure a wide variety of program offerings. Participants include Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College, WorkOne, Hendricks College Network, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

CSO led a collaborative process to program and design the facility. Visioning workshops for all stakeholders defined the important aspects of the projects. Then, during programming, looked globally across all space needs to identify opportunities for stakeholders to share key spaces to reduce the overall building square footage and increase space efficiency. Competitors, such as Ivy Tech and Vincennes University, had never shared a facility, so they were initially reluctant to consider sharing spaces. CSO’s expertise in building consensus helped all stakeholders successfully work through this challenging issue and prove out the benefits. Ultimately conference rooms, several classrooms, the community room, lounge/vending areas, collaboration/study areas, restrooms, and even the flex lab became shared spaces. The overall building design was key to gaining acceptance of this strategy.

The approach created a consistent design for the shared common spaces at the main entrance lobby and along the building’s main corridors. Stakeholder’s individual spaces were distributed along these splines and carefully positioned with enough separation to allow for individual identity.

The resulting design features a modern and inviting building exterior with large window walls surrounded by brick and metal wall panels. The two-story lobby at the main entrance is positioned at the building’s center to provide easy access for all tenants. The lobby is branded as MADE@Plainfield and features a reception desk, restrooms and dining area, offering direct views into both the flex lab and robotics lab for visitors. The main public corridors extend along the two window walls and incorporate the study and collaboration areas positioned along the outside walls. Natural light and exterior views make these inviting spaces for students. Natural light also floods into the adjacent classrooms spaces along the other side of these corridors though their interior windows. Large lab spaces are positioned behind the classrooms, allowing classrooms to have a direct connection. The project’s success comes from its unified appearance while at the same time meeting the individual needs of a diverse group of stakeholders.

Center Grove Innovation Center

Center Grove’s new Innovation Center is a hub for 21st Century learning focused on preparing students of all ages for careers in STEM fields. The Center provides a student-centered learning environment with space for a variety of student experiences including: project-based learning, community partnerships, high-level problem solving, innovative collaborative learning, and cutting edge technology.

The first phase of the project includes a robotics lab to serve as the home to the award-winning Red Alert Robotics team. Prior to the renovation, the robotics team had to test their machines in the high school hallways or empty classrooms. The new design provides ample space for fabrication/tools, assembly/testing, and a full-sized practice pit.

The second phase of the design includes a central organizing “Collaboration Zone” between three large classroom labs dedicated to Basic, Advanced, and Industrial STEM activities and three large-group areas for CAD/computer activities, design exercises, media-based collaboration, and discussions. The flexible spaces accommodate all ages, from elementary students learning with Lego ™ components, to high school students using advanced 3D printing and manufacturing processes.

The STEM labs are open to each other and can be divided to accommodate individualized activities with adjacent break-out spaces for smaller groups. Specific colors designate each STEM lab and extend out into the Collaboration Zone to easily orient young learners. Teachers are able to use electronic tablets to display information on TV screens located around the experiment room or stream videos of an experiment or activities so that all students are able to see it.

Ivy Tech Community College – Columbus

A new main building for Ivy Tech’s Columbus campus is designed to reinvigorate the campus, while adding to Columbus’ modern architectural legacy. The new building will give students and faculty a more engaging and collaborative 21st century learning space. Classrooms will be structured for project-based learning, with reconfigurable classrooms to promote collaboration. The project is sponsored by the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program, who selected IwamotoScott Architects as the Design Architect. Ivy Tech Community College hired CSO as their Architect-of-Record. The new building will replace the aging Poling Hall in the Columbus AirPark.

Carr Workplaces – Convergence

At the outset of the project, the Purdue Research Foundation partnered with Carr Workplaces to create a building unlike any other on Purdue University’s campus. This building was planned to serve as a catalyst for idea exchanges and idea incubation. The vision included entrepreneurs, established Fortune 500 companies, university faculty and students all converging in a single location. “Convergence” evolved as the concept.

The space includes 68 private offices, drop-in workspaces, meeting rooms, and event space on the first two floors of the center. The project included the design of the building’s public spaces along with the space for Carr Workplaces.

Upon entering the building, visitors are entrenched within the convergence ecosystem. Collaboration spaces including: community tables, informal lounge settings and private conference rooms surround the dynamic 2-story atrium. The artfully woven lighting above the atrium is symbolic of the idea exchange concept and serves as a subtle branded component. The balance of exposed structural steel elements and refined details speaks to the synergy between “Boilermakers” and corporate partnerships.

The Carr space continues the subtle color story of the atrium, and reimagines it as bold patterns and strategic color blocking. A neutral foundation of the iconic Purdue “black and gold” translates to steel and wood, and enables bright blues, oranges and greens to take center stage.

The artwork contributes seamlessly to the dynamic color integration, and reveals another layer of the complex design. Carefully curated art reminds users of the rich Purdue University heritage, and their contributions to Agriculture, Aeronautics, Engineering and Space Exploration.

A diverse assortment of work settings allows users to tailor the space to meet their needs. The incorporation of neighborhood plazas places the opportunity to collaborate at the user’s doorstep. Both formal and informal settings support this exchange and further the opportunity to choose. Strategic circulation paths facilitate impromptu exchanges, and are designed to encourage wellness.

Convergence is where private industry is strategically located at Purdue University’s front door. It is an incubator for innovation. As Purdue states, it is “where ideas will be turned into discoveries and global challenges translated into innovations and impact.”