Oak Hill Tech Center

Following the Art Center precedent, this project re-configured a disliked building: a 40s farm shop/garage serving as the main office, into a modern Technology Center. This solved many problems by providing a home for an academic program in dedicated, purpose-built space.

The original farm garage and shop building served as the main office complex for two decades before this 2016 project.

I was excited about this project for many reasons, including the siting next to grand oak trees. I liked how the old building was nestled into the hillside and knew we could do more to work with that aesthetically, as well as thermally.

The predominant load is cooling with all of the computers, and we designed a robust commercial air handling system to maintain temperatures and fresh air. I was in hopes of incorporating earth tubes, but the budget could not take on anything superfluous. The "chimney" on the back house worked well as an air handler and as ducting for fresh air, and while it came from early mechanical design dreams, it still serves a purpose functionally, and breaks up the massing nicely on the back of the building.

Much of the original concrete was saved on the inside and insulated to the outside making for a highly efficient envelope. The new space is crisp and clean, with moderate but balanced daylighting, and also includes critical acoustic control with its slat ceiling

The Tech Center's relationship to other campus buildings is a critical part of the programmatic thinking, with daily users from the whole K-12 spectrum visiting it for classes.

A favorite interior accomplishment on this project:

The stair guardrail assembly which is a guardrail, glassboard, and also structural support for the upper floor.

Accessible desks and workspaces are featured throughout

The projector screen covers this window when in use

The main project workstation, with outlets and switches integrated into its posts

I was proud to have my desk design for the teaching area downstairs sought after for the tech office upstairs too.

A mix of new and existing concrete at the old back porch made a robust wainscot

The solar panels above the south-facing windows here would still be a great addition