Award-winning Renovations at Main Campus
Renovations to the HT1 and T1 buildings at GCC main campus received industry recognition at the 2014 International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Southwest Chapter’s annual P.R.I.D.E. (Professional Recipient for Interior Design Excellence) awards on April 24, 2014.
In the “Education” category, Deutsch Architecture Group received an Award of Merit for their transformation of the Technology 1 (T1) building.
Built in 1968, T1 needed a facelift that would showcase the multi-faceted technology program at GCC and create dynamic learning environments.
Deutsch Architecture Group started with the idea of a central hub, a student lounge that would bring connectivity and flexibility. The central ceiling element mimics computer server blades, and adds a contrast to the clean ceiling planes. Colorful design features and circular elements juxtapose rectangular architectural features that provide visual energy to the space.
All outward-facing classroom doors were reconfigured for inside access, increasing comfort in the summer and a sense of community among faculty and students. Typically closed environments such as server and robotics rooms were transformed into teaching experiences with the use of glass walls. Colorful design features brought energy into the space through thoughtfully placed accent walls, colored graphic film and vibrant pops of color in the furniture. The new student lounge adds connectivity and the flexibility to house a various functions–from independent study and group meetings to large Robotics Lab events.
A full-height glass partition visually expands the Student Lounge and Robotics Lab. To bring additional natural light into the space and make room for new skylights, ductwork in existing penthouse areas were reworked to add drama and unexpected height to the lounge and hallways.
Raised flooring addresses the challenge of how to design classrooms for ever-changing technology. With it, classroom furniture, carpet tile and layout can be reconfigured in the future
Visible collaboration among colleagues and students has already increased.
“Students feel like they really have a space of their own, especially the engineers in the Carlos's Design Lab. It has been really nice to see them working on projects together,” reported Laura Avila, Technology and Consumer Sciences Department Chair.
Dick & Fritsche Design Group (DFDG) received an IIDA P.R.I.D.E Award of Merit in the “Creativity on a Budget” category for renovations to High Tech 1 (HT1)
In HT1, this included interior space renovation, lighting, interior finish materials, updated technology systems and selection of new furnishings. The total finished project, including interior construction and furnishings, came to $52 per square foot, which is at the low range for similar projects.
DFDG faced several project challenges. Constructed in the 1980’s, HT1’s interior design, details and materials were quite dated. Faculty and staff asked for a complete redesign of the interior space that would:
- Create a new computer commons with flexible furnishings, better functionality, and a space that enhances student learning and activities.
- Create flexible, technology-oriented classrooms for the Digital Arts program.
- Create a new TV studio that enables better learning, team coordination and newer technology.
- Provide staff offices and collaboration space for the Campus Office of Information Technology, meeting the specific needs of many different user groups.
- Construct the new facilities with minimal disruption to ongoing IT operations, and meet a tight schedule so that work could be done during the summer break.
- Provide an exciting, fresh and comfortable environment that supports staff functions, collaboration and student learning.
GCC faculty and staff collaborated with DFDG to make sure the project met expectations and budget constraints.
Since re-opening in September 2013, HT1 students have spent time in the building working, studying and even relaxing on the sofas and couches.
“Receiving this award indicates our willingness to pursue good design within budget limitations, and meeting expectations of multiple user groups from the GCC campus,” said John Dick, Principal at DFDG.