cary, north carolina

Clark + Menefee architects, 1991

Situated on a sloped woodland hillside, the primary design challenge was to reconcile the single level programmatic need and requirement of a school with the slope of the land. The intent was to create a sympathetic juncture between new and existing landscape.

The design accommodated distinct programs: one of a pre-school and one of a foundation promoting area programs related to psychoanalysis.

Transparency  and  construction were critical to the design. The three building components school, assembly and foundation are separated with glass vestibules, allowing views through the building. Large areas of glass which connect classrooms and corridors with the landscape intensify this idea. Inside, classrooms lit by shared skylights are separated by wood cabinetry and clerestory glass so that classrooms never seem separated. Simple everyday materials were used and left exposed wherever possible so that children could understand structure and construction.

As a member of the design team, responsibilities ranged from developing detail studies, wall sections, and windows systems, to document production. Assisting partners with construction administration, bid negotiation, and submittals as well as field visits and close out lists was also included.