PDX Alternative High School

Exterior View

Interior View Towards Reception

Site Plan

Floor Plans

Site Section

Construction and Diagrams

This school provides a space of refuge and learning for the disenfranchised youths of the city of Portland. The school cultivates a sense of community and fraternity within the student body, thus allowing these disenfranchised kids an opportunity to be part of a community without feeling like they have to change in order to do so.

The school is sited to create an educational campus along with the existing Harriet Tubman school dividing the site in half for park and educational use. The school’s entry is located on an axis with Tubman’s strengthening the connection between the two schools. From here one has access to the school main commons space, daylight with diffuse northern light. The classroom bar adjacent to the commons is elevated, creating a shaded outdoor space that connects the school to the outside. The existing berm of Tubman’s basketball court is partially paved and stepped, creating an outdoor classroom, gathering and event space that can be used by both schools. Interstitial space at either end of the classroom bar are used as library and study spaces, with administrative and services spaces tucked beneath these. The school’s open plan encourages interaction within the student body and allows for school wide addresses and lectures in the commons and outdoor space, strengthening the connection within the student body.

Passive heating and cooling, day lighting, and natural ventilation where another main driver of the building shape, parti, and orientation. The building is a long bar oriented east-west for access to light, natural ventilation, and passive heating and cooling. Diffuse north light illuminated the commons space while south light is controlled in the classrooms other south facing spaces through the use of shading devices. The floors are untreated concrete to allow for passive heating and cooling.

  • For Graduate Work, Spring 2011

  • Type Architecture, Academic, Education, Sustainability

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