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image Project: Twelve Bridges High School

Twelve Bridges High School

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Architect Narrative

The growth in the District has been steady over the past several years and is projected to increase rapidly over the next ten years. Encouraged by the emerging electronics and service based economy, the area is experiencing significant demographic and socio-economic change. To meet the challenge, the District has been proactively involved in a community-based planning process engaging analysis and review of educational vision and practices. The community has participated in developing systemic principles for guiding future school planning through a multi-engaged year-long process documented in the ‘Project Build’ visionary document.

Building upon the vision of the Project Build efforts, the District proceeded to education specifications and programming, engaging further collaborations with the community and college toward curriculum and facility partnerships. Educational specifications developed based on the district’s goals, objectives, policies, and community input. Through a committee based systemic planning effort and their desire to create an optimum learning situation for students, the District educational specification became the foundation for the design and development of future facilities.

Through the process, partnerships emerged between the city, district and college resulting in a collaborative campus of shared vision. A lifelong learning campus evolved with high school, community college, and civic library sharing common facilities including alternative project based learning academy, performing arts, library, gymnasium, dining commons, and conferencing in a public urban park promoting seamless education, entrepreneurial learning, contemporary educational modes, fiscal advantages and a teaching architecture.

The high school architecture is composed of courtyard academies celebrating thematic curriculums of science, culture, environment, technology and wellness. Indoor and outdoor lab and lecture create both traditional and alternative learning options within their environments. The academies are both single and two-story lecture rooms connected to joint use lab and project flex areas surrounding dedicated outdoor lab learning areas.

The science and environment academy engages outdoor wetlands, bioscience and urban storm water experiences. The culture and technology academy engages outdoor visual and performing art labs. Throughout the campus circulation display of art, learning and achievement is offered. Community joint-use areas of gym, theater and multipurpose interconnect with public plaza opportunities for outdoor assembly and performance.

The campus site is located adjacent and interlocking with public partners yet segregated through placement in a natural down sloping bowl-shaped topography. The result is high school privacy in a controlled and nurturing location relating to neighboring middle school and housing. The south facing, stair stepping architecture views across wetlands open space. The building vocabulary and special design features sustainable building products and stewardship. High performance design principals; demonstration architecture; indoor outdoor learning fluidization.

Educator Narrative

Citation Award 2006


High School

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