High-Efficiency In An Organic Form
The exterior form of the James Learning Center is intended to address several needs. First, as a demonstration facility, the primary function of the building is to teach. Towards that end, both the design team and client agreed that as a teaching instrument, the building must strive to capture not only ones attention, but ones imagination as well.
The soaring lines of the butterfly-shaped roof appear as if poised for flight. This organic design however, also serves other more practical purposes, namely that of creating space for the north and south clerestory windows, as well as providing a very visible rainwater collection device.
An Expression of Values
Computer modeling established the precise curve of the roof in order to provide effective shading for the clerestory windows during the cooling season, while allowing solar gain to penetrate the upper windows during the winter heating season.
An organically shaped south wall expresses the environmentally rooted mission of the Highlands Center organization.