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The AIA Recognizes Nine Projects with the 2010 CAE Educational Facility Design Awards

WASHINGTON, DC.- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) have selected nine educational and cultural facilities for this year’s CAE Educational Facility Design Awards. The purpose of the design awards program is to identify trends and emerging ideas, honor excellence in planning and design, and disseminate knowledge about best practices in educational and community facilities.

The 2010 CAE Educational Facility Design Awards jury includes: jury chair Caroline Lobo, Assoc. AIA, Orcutt | Winslow; Peter Lippman, Assoc. AIA, JCJ Architecture; Tom Kundig, FAIA, Olson Sundberg Kundig Architects; Bruce Lindsey, Washington University and Jeanne L. Narum, Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL).

Nine awards were issued in three categories which include Citation, Merit and Excellence.

2010 CAE Educational Facility Design Awards recipients:


The Cathcart Site, Snohomish, Washington

The high school and elementary school design focuses on the experiential quality of architecture as an essential ingredient for meaningful learning. The design reinterprets the original character of the site, thereby imbuing the new experience with a rich and varied relationship to nature. Through mountain views, sloping terrain, courtyards, bridges, and a tactile landscape of salvaged logs and boulders, nature enriches the learning environment. The site character is both the poetic inspiration for and an active participant in the daily experience of the users of the school.

Michael J. Homer Science & Student Life Center, Atherton, California
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

Inspired by both an enlightened school mission and the innovative culture of nearby Silicon Valley, the Michael J. Homer Science and Student Life Center offers a unique educational environment that encourages scientific inquiry, fosters a strong learning community and promotes environmental stewardship. The 44,100 SF building integrates a hybrid program of eight sophisticated science classrooms, an auditorium, dining hall and student life offices in spaces that use 69% less energy than a typical U.S. school building. It is the first LEED for Schools Platinum-certified project in the nation.

Biomanufacturing Research Institute Technology Enterprise (BRITE), Durham, North Carolina
O'Brien/Atkins Associates & The Freelon Group
BRITE Center is a key component of North Carolina's statewide public-private initiative to provide a hands-on learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students interested in careers in the State's growing biotechnology industry. Faculty and students train in flexible research labs designed to accommodate instrumentation commonly found in biotechnology work environments. and often donated by the local biotech community. The east and west elevations are derived metaphorically from an unfolded DNA strand, reflective of the building's teaching mission. The BRITE Center shares resources with the adjacent Mary Townes Science Building, creating a dynamic science quad on the NCCU campus.


Manassas Park Elementary School (MPES), Manassas Park, Virginia
VMDO Architects, PC

MPES is fundamentally designed around the premise that people, especially children, cannot be expected to preserve or protect something they do not understand. As such, the school is conceived throughout as a teaching tool that shepherds children along a path of environmental stewardship. Inside and out, sustainable design is integrated with the elementary curriculum. Design decisions were made with the expressed goal of showcasing as many teachable moments as possible. Interior extended learning spaces offer dramatic and surprisingly intimate views of the neighboring mixed oak forest, while elementary classrooms face shady moss and fern-covered learning courtyards featuring “fallen” trees and other particularities of an eastern deciduous forest floor.

Gray Middle School, Tacoma, Washington

Gray Middle School unites site and program within a high performance building that brings students, teachers and the community together. At the facility’s heart, a two-story gallery provides a dynamic forum that encourages communication and collaboration. Views into learning spaces reinforce positive relationships and a shared identity. The sustainable building supports educational objectives with healthy environments and design features that integrate curriculum with daily activities. Outdoor learning areas and visible green features connect students with the natural world and resource conservation, engaging them in the cultivation of tomorrow’s sustainable communities.


Thurston Elementary School, Springfield, Oregon

The school’s gentle, sloping silhouette mirrors the McKenzie River valley’s tree-lined hills to the south and north. Sheets of exposed, tilt-up concrete create a structural rhythm that expresses the scale of these hills and grounds the building to its site. Inside, classroom wings are connected by public zones with low rooflines that embrace the K-5 population. Wood-framed glass walls bring light and views from the outdoors into transparent connectors, including the entry, library and commons. Rich woodwork reflects the historic importance of the Springfield timber industry, and showcases local craftsmanship.

Concordia International School Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Perkins Eastman

Perkins EastmanEnvisioned as a billboard for 21st century learning and state-of-the-art college preparatory environment, the project is the culmination of a 10-year master plan vision. The layout of the school emphasizes real world experiences where students can work independently or in groups; the program-reflective environment promoting a culture of trust and responsibility. To model environmental stewardship as a teaching tool, the design incorporates a geothermal heating and cooling system, green roofs over 40% of the building and an accessible instructional garden supporting cross-curricular field studies on air quality and climate

School Without Walls Senior High School, Washington, DC
Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects

Fostered by its downtown location within a major urban university academic district, the school offers an innovative early college curriculum in partnership with neighboring George Washington University, this remodeled 1882 school building was designed both to respect the historic architecture and mirror the University’s technology standards. The school modernizes and expands a prominent civic building that is both a local landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. The design is under review for LEED for Schools – Gold. Achieving these targets involved improving the thermal and acoustical performance of a landmarked 19th Century building without compromising its unique character.

Foster Center for Student Innovation, Orono, Maine
Oak Point Associates

The mission for the LEED Silver Foster Center for Student Innovation is to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship. As the site for the University’s Innovation Engineering program, the Center creates the bridge for the “Create, Communicate, Commercialize” program strategy. The building balances minimalism and comfort, public and private space, as well as areas for creative work and formal business interactions, enabling entrepreneurs to span the gap between a good idea and a commercialized product. The Center's defining area is the Aha! Space, a place to enjoy floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding natural environment and contemplate a world of potential.

The American Institute of Architects | 2010 CAE Educational Facility Design Awards | Caroline Lobo | Peter Lippman |

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