Project DescriptionChesterfield County needed a multi-functional facility that would combine career and technical education, school administration, and a conference center within the walls of an abandoned high school building. In the new Career and Technical Center, specialty career and technical education spaces accommodate lab, lecture and research areas for bio-technology, homeland security, ecology, PT/OT, and mechatronics, among other disciplines. Ample breakout spaces and collaboration hubs encourage 21st century learning among real-world work environments. The design provides the County an opportunity to re-use existing space while building new programs for students and administrators in an innovative atmosphere.
The student entrance serves as the Conference Center Pre-Function space. Student Dining is also located here as a sub-section of the Conference Center pre-function. The circulation paths of students and visitors in this space are separate, but their adjacency increases the space’s use and elevates its energetic feeling.
As established during the planning phase, the primary goal of the center is to advance career and technical education opportunities in Chesterfield County by offering additional instructional space to expand and supplement current courses being taught at the Chesterfield Technical Center.
The openness of the architecture blurs the boundaries between the work environment and leisure spaces, increasing opportunities for collaboration and interaction. All of these spaces are visible from multiple vantage points to maximize energy and interaction while taking advantage of the natural light brought into the building via enlarged glazed openings
in the exterior walls.
Opening the architecture and crossing the functions of each space created hubs throughout the building. These hubs operate as gathering spaces and entry-points that are accentuated with the interior finishes and design choices. At each hub users are greeted with large space and ample natural light that enhances the experience of the space. In addition, the building is adorned with feature walls that support the design goals of the project in an inviting way.