2020 GFD 🏆 Awards

Special Mention: KIPP Columbus | Battelle Environmental Center by Flansburgh Architects

The new Center is a hub for environmental exploration, research, and observation. It provides hundreds of students throughout Central Ohio with the opportunity to explore different habitats, map features with cutting-edge drone technology, and monitor species. The Center includes a laboratory, event space, and meeting rooms with floor to ceiling glass that look out on the campus’ many natural habitats. The site is steeply sloping, nestled between a middle school and a high school, overlooking 100 acres of natural landscape with multiple ecosystems.

Special Mention- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Firm | Flansburgh Architects
Architect/Designer | David Croteau

Category | Educational Built
Team | David Croteau; Kelley Banks
Country | United States
Photographer/Copyright | ©Matthew Millman

©Matthew Millman

The Environmental Center is one continuous flexible space that is organized as two teaching areas with a presentation room or gallery in the center. Two small meeting rooms anchor one end, and storage and toilet rooms anchor the other. The New Environmental Center is an educational space for students, a gateway to the natural environment, and a visitor center to celebrate student achievements and introduce other groups to the site’s natural resources. The STEM science program will extend to children, families and local school districts in Columbus, in grades K-12, including those who do not attend KIPP, as well as host summer science camps. The school draws on the natural environment surrounding the Center to introduce students from urban neighborhoods to its beauty and their personal responsibility for preserving it while creating a small, but impactful symbol of environmental stewardship and student agency.

Small meeting spaces, an environmental lab, a monitoring lab, a flexible indoor classroom and an outdoor classroom are arrayed along the hillside and protected by a broad, folded roof supported by a bent steel structure. The entry façade is entirely solid while the façade overlooking the natural landscape is entirely glass, creating a memorable entry experience. Meandering stone dust paths begin at the Center, looping through multiple environments and returning to the Center. Ample storage gives students easy access to materials and equipment to conduct experiments and create projects.

KIPP Columbus was created with innovative systems in mind such as reclaimed lumber, natural daylight, low flow fixtures and LED lighting. The design process included collaborative workshops with faculty, administrators, Battelle, and other donors. Through a partnership with the PAST Foundation, KIPP Columbus provides weekly STEM science programming to students throughout Central Ohio. The new center is designed to embrace, honor and celebrate student differences across race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender orientation, physical abilities, socio-economic class, and other characteristics that construct their unique identities. KIPP Columbus firmly believes that its strength and resolve, its health as a school, its effectiveness, and the quality of its decisions— are all rooted in its diversity.