UNIVERSITY/COLLEGIATE:ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING
High School in Philadelphia
Ryan D. Hughes—University of Virginia
Located on the east bank of the Schuylkill River in
Philadelphia, this charter high school for building
and design introduces the innovation of solar heat
to a diverse industrial and historic site.
MicroStation TriForma and GEOPAK were used
in the development of this project.
The school's unique design features a rich brick
exterior wall covered with vines, obtained from a
former iron works building located on the site,
and a new solar-heated structure, which includes
glass walls and ceilings that provide a comfortable and economical heating and cooling alternative. The space between the old and the new
walls of the school is used to highlight a mural
map of Philadelphia, which wraps from the floor
to a silk-screened map on the glass walls of the
classrooms. The mural also provides an immersive
urban plan for students to study.
Outside, a soaring asymmetrical roof floats over
the high school, held up by tree-like columns to
complement the historical facade. The spacious,
covered courtyard provides many areas for outdoor classrooms, circulation, and socializing,
while serving as a counterpart to the rectilinear
orthogonal structure of the school.
A solid/void map of Philadelphia is rendered in
solar panels on the glass roof casting an ever-changing shadow of the map that marks the
hours, days, and seasons on the spaces and surfaces below. A raised public park, gym, tennis
courts, theater, and machine shop are located in
between the school and the scenic river, maximizing the use of a former parking lot and former iron
works structure. ;