The AIA recognizes 15 projects with the 2012 CAE Educational Facility Design Award


Washington, D.C. – August 15, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has selected 15 educational and cultural facilities for this year’s CAE Educational Facility Design Awards. The purpose of the design awards program is to identify trends and emerging ideas, honor excellence in planning and design, and disseminate knowledge about best practices in educational and community facilities.

The 2012 CAE Educational Facility Design Awards jury includes: Paul C. Hutton, AIA, (jury chair) Hutton Architecture Studio; David Ade, AIA, SMP Architects; Bukky Akinsanmi, AIA, Cooper Carry Architecture; Trung Le, AIA, Cannon Design and Robert Moje, AIA, VMDO.

Fifteen awards were issued in three categories which include awards of Citation, Merit and Excellence.

If you would like more information or images of these projects, please contact Matt Tinder at " target="_self">.

2012 CAE Educational Facility Design Awards recipients:


Ardmore Elementary School; Bellevue, WA

The project explores surprise and discovery over time in a compact yet internally very transparent and deliberately porous structure. The notion of non-linear learning is embodied in the variety of meandering paths available throughout the building, gradually revealing different spaces, those close and those far away. Transparency pervades the building. It is both a design tool used to amplify the interior experiential quality, as well as an “educational transparency,” designed to foster easy collaboration and an overall sense of community.

Bowdoin College Studzinski Recital Hall; Brunswick, ME
William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

This 282-seat recital hall at the center of Bowdoin’s campus has been designed to accommodate a range of musical programs, including classical, jazz, world, and electronic music, at a scale supportive of student performers. The project, which opened in May of 2007, involved the radical renovation of an historic McKim, Mead, and White swimming pool into a recital hall. Abundant natural light and warm wood interiors create an intimacy supportive of student performers, while state-of-the-art A/V and acoustical technology supports innovative productions and rehearsals.

Milton Academy Pritzker Science Center; Milton, MA
William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

The project makes science education central and visible at this private school, completing the south edge of the cherished campus green. Major entrances to the north and east connect to well-established campus circulation patterns, and extensive exterior and interior floor-to-ceiling glass reveals not just public spaces, but the classrooms themselves. This transparency fosters interaction, collaboration, and inquiry. Extensive signage and a building dashboard highlight sustainable features and serve as teaching tools.

Redding School of the Arts; Redding, CA
Trilogy Architecture Urban Design Research

Despite the marginal climate, half of the schools learning spaces were located outdoors to increase the visual and physical connection to the outside. This was made possible by the implementation of semi-conditioned spaces with summer cooling through evaporative cooling fabric ductwork and winter radiant heating timed to occupant use. These features greatly reduce operating costs. The building and site are used as a tool for teaching sustainable design features for example: transparency into interior building workings, exposed interior structure, dashboards showing real time energy use, and interpretive signage for building elements.


Betty and Norman Levan Hall; Santa Fe, NM
Lake|Flato Architects

The Betty and Norman Levan Hall at St. John’s College is home to the school’s Graduate Institute. Occupying a prominent site in the campus core, the building houses the College’s two graduate programs as well as classrooms, faculty offices, a multi-purpose meeting room and a student commons. Designed as a model of environmental responsibility, this LEED Gold project incorporates principles of stewardship and conservation of the adjacent natural landscape. The building is designed with outdoor meeting and study spaces immersed in the landscape of the site.

Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy; Dallas
SHW Group

The design of this campus responds to the desire for varied social and learning experiences by providing large and small group instruction spaces and flexible collaboration spaces. Environmental education and display panels in the common areas educate the occupants and visitors about sustainable features in the building. Buildings placed on site were selected to minimize required earth work, while maximizing the benefits of natural light to program elements. Improved noise control features were implemented between classrooms. Regional and organic compound materials were used in the construction of the campus.

MHCC Early Childcare Center; Gresham, OR

Conceived as a village of small play-learn communities, natural and man-made environments create an engaging network. Employing patterns of daylight, weather and annual seasons for inspiration, the environment invites poetic reflection, joyful play, and relaxation during the course of a day. Deep walls provide spaces for children to claim for themselves, as well as abundant and accessible storage. The center provides ample opportunities for exploration, creativity, free thinking and interaction and presents invitations to “get dirty” by playing in the sandbox with a water hand pump, or with floating ducks in the wet play area.

Portland Community College Newberg Center; Newberg, OR
Hennebery Eddy Architects, Inc.

The LEED Platinum certified Portland Community College Newberg Center serves as a living laboratory to study energy use, strategies for its reduction, and is setting a new paradigm for sustainable design at Oregon’s largest institution of higher learning. The building is organized around a central circulation spine. Classrooms and administrative spaces flank the north side while, multi-purpose rooms to the south shift and rotate in plan, creating a dynamic central commons. The building’s large, south-facing roof reaches beyond the building’s shell to create a sheltered entry plaza – the front door to the campus.

Riverview Elementary School; Snohomish, WA

The wetland which claims a large portion of the site provided an opportunity to intertwine site and building design, enabling meaningful learning to happen inside and outside. Landscape and building textures work in harmony to reflect the natural environment. Sustainable strategies fit seamlessly with the overall project approach, and provide many opportunities for students to learn about sustainability through fun and play. Integration of the site, building and landscape design creates innovative educational opportunities that speak to stewardship of the land and instill life-long influences on our future citizens.


The Bertschi School Living Science Building; Seattle
KMD Architects

This elementary school science wing is the first project built to Living Building Challenge v2.0 standards. Designed collaboratively with the students, it follows the requirements of 20 Imperatives including net zero water, net zero energy and adherence to a materials Red List which all must be proven over a one year period of occupancy. All water needed for the building is collected and treated on site and a rain garden produces food. All sustainable features are visible for students to help them learn ecological concepts that can become intrinsic values for future generations.

Early Learning Center; Des Plaines, IL
Wight & Company

The Early Learning Center (ELC) is a 51,000-square-foot building attached to an existing elementary school. Sparking lifelong learning starts with the idea that architecture and the natural surroundings are teaching tools. To start kids down that path, the ELC emphasized design elements below 4’, and created inside and outside learning experiences. Reading nooks with eye level windows look out to rain gardens, courtyards offer hands-on science projects, and selectively placed themed breakout areas provide spaces for unstructured learning.

Hinman Research Building; Atlanta
Lord, Aeck & Sargent in collaboration w/ Office dA

The Hinman Building’s adaptive-reuse transforms a piece of Georgia Tech’s Modernist built heritage into a new annex for the College of Architecture. The original 50-foot tall highbay shed has been re-programmed in the vertical axis and left flexible in plan, now featuring a studio mezzanine hung by slender rods from a re-purposed bridge crane. The building also features a 32-foot wide vertical-lift wall/screen; a spiral stair wrapped in guardrail mesh; and an array of retractable lights. A general aesthetic of suspended filigree emerges from these elements, producing a middle ground for the space.

Joplin Interim High School; Joplin, MO
CGA Architects and DLR Group

One of the deadliest and most destructive tornadoes in the history of the U.S. ripped through Joplin on May 22, 2011 destroying Joplin High School. Two days later, Superintendent Dr. C.J. Huff emphatically stated school would open as scheduled on August 17th. An abandoned big-box retail space was selected for an adaptive reuse to house 1,200 students. The design integrates every square inch of the existing space, and features 21st century learning environments utilizing flexibility and interconnectivity. Large openings, oversized pivot doors, and a diverse array of furniture allow students to customize spaces for collaborative learning.

Morse & Ezra Stiles Colleges at Yale; New Haven, CT

Designed by Eero Saarinen, the Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges are part of Yale’s system of residential colleges. Located on an irregular site at the western edge of the campus, it has an organic geometry, with the two colleges bifurcated by an elevated walk. The renovation focused on the transformation of the student housing mix from single rooms into suites, the provision of 25,000 square feet of student activity space below grade, and the transformation of outdoor hardscapes into a sustainable landscape. The addition is conceived as being unified with the landscape, extending it through the architecture, fusing inside and outside, new and old, and above and below.

US Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD); Colorado Springs, CO
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Revisiting the campus it originally designed in 1954, SOM has designed a new academic building for the US Air Force Academy’s main cadet area. The most prominent feature of the design, the 105-foot-high sky light, precisely aligns cadets inside the Honor Conference Room with the North Star, Polaris, and symbolically serves as an instrument of cadet navigation. The sky light also provides ample natural light to the forum, a central gathering space for the academic program. Classrooms, meeting rooms, and offices ring two adjacent courtyards, maximizing exterior views and minimizing the use of artificial lighting. The building anticipates LEED Platinum certification from the USGBC.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit

Matthew Tinder

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