“Honoring our History, Building our Future” is not just our project’s motto, it translates into decisions we have already made (choosing L3 on June 9th) and into the decisions we are making now during the schematic design phase of the project. At the July 25th meeting, SMMA and EwingCole introduced exterior elevation renderings to the SBC. This takes the project out of the 2-dimensional phase, and launches us into 3-D. In other words, what might the building look like? As with every other aspect of the project, this is an iterative process of design refinement, but it was clear from the design team’s presentation that they understood our motto, and are using it as a guiding principle for their designs. The elevations presented focused on 3 main areas of the exterior: classroom wings; the front of the central entrance/dining commons; and the western (back) view of the commons.
Classroom Wings: When the Smith School was built in 1948, one of its ground-breaking features (see pages 126-129) was the use of canopies to shield the classrooms from the glare of the eastern exposure. Although they were made of wood and were removed several decades ago when they began to rot, this type of canopy is now a standard feature in architecture. As shown in these sketches (sloped roof is at the Smith end, flat roof is at the Brooks end), our design team is proposing a modern version that would not only restore the look of the building and control how sunlight enters the classroom (reducing the need for both artificial light and window shades), but the canopy would also be covered in photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.
Heart of the School: The new central entrance, Commons and administrative area form the “heart” of our building. The design team drew on both agricultural and modernist themes to propose an understated entrance to the school. They also showed a concept for the west side of the area. The design team is going to continue to work on the design of this important focal point and bring additional concepts to the next meeting on August 8th.
The SBC also talked about traffic circulation and pick-up/drop-off options, and will continue to review site plans at the next several meetings. Here is the entire slide presentation, and you can watch the meeting and the conversation by going to the home page and clicking on “meeting videos.”
Use Your Influence! This is a very exciting phase of the project, with many crucial decisions that must be made in just a couple of (very!) short months – come join our intrepid band of “SBC groupies” and make sure your voice is part of the decision-making! Meetings are always open to the public. If you can’t be there in person, look at the presentations or watch the meeting videos and provide us with your feedback. You can respond through the website, comment on blog posts, or contact the SBC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, August 8, 7:00pm, Hartwell Multipurpose room. There will be a special focus on the location of mechanical systems and photovoltaic panels – where’s all that stuff going to fit? There will also be continued discussions about floor plans, site plans, and exterior elevations. Click here for the fall schedule.