Exterior View - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans
 
South Junior High School Lawrence, Kansas

Introduction

What if…

A junior high could activate a child’s learning experience?

Education in the 21st century requires flexible space, allowing teachers to vary their instruction methods to develop a variety of life skills in each of their students. In one day a student may work in a lab group in science class, participate in a discussion of the relationship between their social studies and English lesson, join a school-wide assembly and be taught a math lesson in a small group; a school must be able to facilitate these types of learning activities.

Research

How can classroom and commons work in tandem to expand the learning environment?

Traditional Classroom - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

traditional classroom

Small Group Learning - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

small group work

Department Collaboration - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

department collaboration

Teacher Led Instruction - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

teacher led instruction

Interdisciplinary Learning - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

interdisciplinary learning

Community Development - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

community development


Flexible Learning Environment #1 - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans
Flexible Learning Environment #2 - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans
Flexible Learning Environment #3 - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans
Flexible #4 Learning Environment - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

Garage Doors for Flexible Learning #1 - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans
Garage Doors for Flexible Learning #2 - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

Garage doors allow each classroom to spill into the common space when open, while facilitating full visual supervision of the commons when the doors are closed.

“The glass garage door allows me to differentiate my instruction in a way that a room with four concrete walls does not allow. I lift the garage door and meet just outside it with small groups of students; meanwhile, within the classroom, the rest of the class is engaged in individual work. The open garage door means I can hear what's going on in the room and easily turn and see the students as well.”

—Kelly A. Hart, Language Arts/Reading and Geography Teacher

“Students in classrooms with the most daylight did 20 percent better on math tests and 26 percent better on reading tests than students at the same school in classrooms with the least amount of natural light.”*

Original Building - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

original South JH, a windowless building

Original Building Daylight - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

original south
1% light

Current Building Daylight - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

current
southwest
70% light

New Building Daylight - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

current south
99% light


*Cooper, Kenneth. "Study Says Natural Classroom Lighting Can Aid Achievement." Washington Post 26 Nov 1999, A14. Print

Process

Parti Diagrams - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

The design process began with a charrette to explore the interaction between built form and light on the site.

The concept of building as vertebrae emerged. A series of loosely connected boxes, similar to vertebrae, contain all programmatic functions, while the interstitial spaces create light-filled commons.

Building Vertebrae Diagram - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans
Daylit Commons - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans
Daylit Collaboration - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

Site

Site Plan - Lawrence South Junior High School  - Architecture - Gould Evans

Reaction

“The ambient light levels are bright enough to replace much of the need for electric light. Increased daylight, improved visual connection between spaces, and flexible classrooms create a new environment that supports multi-disciplinary education and the evolving teaching models of Lawrence Public Schools.”

—Will Fernandez, Principal, South Middle School

Facts

133,000 sf

Daylight to 99% of classrooms

Abundant skylights and glazing

Movable, glass, garage-style doors in classrooms

Flexible spaces encourage interdisciplinary activities

Accommodates up to 750 students