Building upon the pottery studio project, a full-scale education center is proposed for East Austin. This project was designed in cooperation with Manchester Bidwell, an educational center in Pittsburgh, PA founded by Bill Strickland. This is a center that is not affiliated with the public school system, but provides arts and practical job training to those in need in the city. Due to a high success rate for the center, it has expanded into other cities around the country, and Austin is one of the locations in the early planning stages. To that end, this project has been designed around an existing building footprint, though only the foundation has been reused. The creation of interior and exterior courtyards, the reincorporation of landscape, and the presence of natural light are the three major themes.
The adjacent site analysis shows that the majority of the surrounding areas are industrial or residential; indeed, the original purpose of this site was a warehouse. One of the core tenets of this educational institution is to set it apart from the surrounding neighborhood, which has been done through the use of landscaping in an otherwise barren region. Procession from the bus stop or parking through courtyard spaces is substantial to allow visitors time to reorient before entering the building.
A Center for Arts and Technology
Given the instructional program of the building, most of the program spaces have specific technical needs. Entry into the building occurs through the lobby and exhibit space, which is accompanied by public gathering spaces. Retaining the compression and release of the pottery studio, each art or technical studio has a similar entry, and each space shares a courtyard with an adjacent studio. The loft space provides naturally lit classrooms and auditorium space. The circulation for the loft includes windows into the art and technical studios; this allows tours to view the progress in the studios without disturbing the work.