Columbia, SC

The 200,000 SF facility dedicated to educational innovation provides a leading-edge, multi-generational learning hub for the Sandhills community. The building features student learning labs, a community information center, a flexible professional development conferencing center, and academic support offices. Spaces are designed for flexibility, accommodating multiple teaching methods and a variety of group sizes with break-out areas, outdoor learning environments, and movable wall systems.

The plan is anchored by a large dividing wall which visibly defines active and public spaces from quieter learning areas, and is deep enough to house storage and other support functions.  Portals in the wall maintain visual connectivity between spaces and provide views into the courtyard beyond, while intersections create areas for interaction and collaboration. The main entry supports a clerestory roof element which brings natural light into the building, washing dividing wall with light where the main vertical circulation takes place. A future lateral circulation spine will expand the center for additional learning partners.

Awards: 2018 A4LE Award

Image credits: LS3P Architects