The College School - Jan Phillips Learning Center
Location: Jefferson County, MO
Learning Center: 3,000
Plaza: 2,150 SF
Construction August, 2015
The College School, an independent private school for children ages 3 to 14, engaged Hellmuth + Bicknese to provide a feasibility analysis, create a master plan of the site, and design an interpretive/educational center on their rural property. The Jan Phillips Learning Center is an off-site extension of The College School’s urban campus, and expands on their mission to engage and captivate students through nature-based experiential learning. It will also serve as a model for sustainable success that engages the occupants as a building that teaches.
The 3,000 sf Learning Center is nestled within a clearing on the 28 acre site and includes a classroom/community space, workshop, restrooms, protective shelter against storms, a 2,150 sf plaza which doubles as a solar observatory, and a 1,400 sf outdoor classroom/pavilion. Great effort was made to protect LaBarque Creek, which is located on the property and is one of the most pristine tributaries to the Meramec River. Building off of the successes of H+B’s two previous Living Building Challenge projects- the facilities were designed and built to achieve net-positive energy and water use in pursuit of Living Building status.
Rainwater is captured and reused, and composting toilets make use of natural resources that would otherwise would be wasted. Daylighting, natural ventilation, renewable energy, salvaged and locally harvested materials, an aqueduct, a "stream" feature wall, stained glass storytelling panels, a "geologic" fireplace and many other features help create not only a place for learning but also spaces that can be learned from.