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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2012, 10:58 PM
TysonsEngineer TysonsEngineer is offline
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Urban Classrooms, High Rise School Cooperative

So the other day myself (a civil engineer and blogger), two landscape architects, a planner in northern virginia, and a design firm CEO had lunch together discussing the emerging trend of suburban shift to urban regions. I think we all were very thankful that cultural shifts are finally stopping the trends in suburban sprawl, but we started thinking about what the possible detriments of the new shift could entail. While we all thought that there would be the resident, developer, and jurisdictional strength to bring the new populations and commerce, we all came to the same conclusion...

How can an edge city without the benefits of owning jurisdictional lands in the same way that older cities (NYC, DC, Boston, etc) build municipal projects that serve the public? Firehouses, police departments, hospitals, schools etc. We could all think of examples of developments which proffered firehouses, and even police stations, and as far as hospitals there are hundreds of examples of high density hospitals. But when we started to think about schools we (collectively 60 years in the fairly urban area of Washington DC/Baltimore) could not think of a single truly high density high school.

We all went back to our desks and tried to conceptualize what kind of space requirements are needed for schools, how they could be provided vertically, how recreational facilities could be provided, and came back together with an agreed upon idea that could solve the issue of land cost and required school acreage.

What if highschools were developed symbiotically with private developers as part of a much large skyscraper structure? This way some of the capital up front for great buildings could be covered by the municipality who will be given a state of the art facility, and for density concessions centralized civic/rec fields could be shared space for citizens and students.
The idea can be found in more detail here for actual space requirements.
School Concept/Space Requirements

Heres the interest to the skyscraperpage community, we would love to see what a building like this would look. Sketch it to whatever level of design you would like, all concepts will be posted on my blog website with conceptualizers credits and whatever links you'd like.

The example discusses Tysons Corner/Arlington VA but really this could be applied to any new dense edge city. The building will be surrounded on all sides with 10' sidewalk and should have separated access from a school loaded side (separated by wall or landscape from the office entry side) while preserving atleast 50% of the 1st floor for retail space (try some elevation change from one side to the other). The rest of the building will be a mix of office use and residential (lets keep it around 60 floors).

Tell us if you are interested.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2012, 11:48 PM
mhays mhays is online now
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For a bunch of reasons, from noise to emergency egress to teenagers' way of making old people uncomfortable, you'd really want the school and office/housing/hotel/retail uses to be physically separate.

But you could stack a school easily. A couple acres should do it. Picture a three-story building with basically one floor each for K-5, JH, and H. (Or if the high school collects from multiple JHs, it could be two floors.) Classrooms, offices, library, etc. would be accommodated within each floor, including a major outdoor area for each on the perimeter, set apart so they don't distract each other. The roof would be a ballfield and basketball court. A wing on the side would stack polytech classes and couple gymnasiums on top. The roof of this could be tennis courts or an outdoor hangout/recess area. Parking could be below grade, with school buses, transit buses, and drop-offs each having some curb around your two acres.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 1:37 AM
TysonsEngineer TysonsEngineer is offline
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Excellent points, and I agree that in most cases office workers/old people will be pissed. Imagine that the portion with the school is completely unaccessible from the office side, separate shaft for that portion, retaining wall, wall, or otherwise separating them outside. And we'll say in between the shared walls we would have sound proofing, etc. Essentially it would be a building built within another building separated in all forms.

The scenario I am talking about wouldn't be appropriate for a 4 or even 5 story school standalone, imagine this is in a super dense city, ie Manhattan, Hong Kong, Chicago, where 2 or 3 acres is prohibitively expensive for the city to purchase.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 3:55 AM
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Illithid Dude Illithid Dude is offline
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Just look to New York.

For example, New York By Gehry has an elementary school in the podium. Luxury Condos in the front, education in the back. It's pretty much exactly what you proposed.



Everything brick is school.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 6:31 PM
TysonsEngineer TysonsEngineer is offline
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This is exactly the concept I was looking for, thank you! I tried researching this but I couldn't find anything except for higher education. Do you know if its ever been done with a high school though? The stigma with highschool is a lot more kids might "cut school" although I dont see how a highrise makes that worse, if anything less ways for a kid to sneak out the premise. The other issue with highschool and highrises is athletic fields, but I dont see why these couldnt be provided in a gymnasium for indoor sports and use civic center/fields for the football/baseball.

If anyone knows of an example of a highschool please do post also.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 7:00 PM
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I don't know examples. But if there's room for fields nearby, it would be a hell of a lot easier to co-locate those with the school.

I can see a high school working in a mixed-use highrise if it's targeted to academics and stays small, i.e. fits within the regular office-type shell. but not if it has the full array of sports, auditorium, polytech, etc. You're the engineer, but large multistory spaces in a highrise make everything tougher. Certain uses that involve fumes (art), explosives (autoshop, science labs), or risk of leaks (pool) might require sepations that would be tough to make work.
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Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 7:08 PM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is online now
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check out this example from Toronto... North Toronto Collegiate Institute - a public high school.

Quote:
In 2002 students of North Toronto contacted the TDSB to begin talks to build a new school.[12] Their current school was one of the oldest in the TDSB, and was in need of much repair. It was a long planning process, made difficult by the lack of funds the TDSB could provide, and in 2003 it was decided the only way to proceed was with additional private investment. This took the form of Tridel, a large condominium building company. The TDSB sold less than an acre of land to the company for $23 million.[13] Planning and design continued until ground breaking occurred November 21, 2007, a year after the project had originally been slated to be completed. During construction the school remained open, as the new building is built where the old one's field was. The old building was later demolished, with parts of it being preserved in the new building's courtyard. The controversial aspect is that Tridel has built two condos, 24 and 27 stories, on the same lot as the new school.[14] The new school was opened in september 2010, and the condos and the school's new field october 2011. The new building, which costs an estimated 52 million dollars,[15] features a roof garden, underground parking lot, and school-wide wifi system.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_T...iate_Institute


http://www.torontosun.com/news/toron.../15518446.html

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...3&l=aba419718e
http://www.publicpropertyforum.ca/li...penny-30pp.pdf
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 7:18 PM
Rizzo Rizzo is offline
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I'll post a better image later, but it's of a Loyola University academic building combined with a "luxury senior housing" tower.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Chicag...9.67,,0,-23.25


I don't know exactly why it was done this way. I realize this deviates from the theme of private-public relationship since the school is actually private, and the entire project was going to be mixed use from the beginning and could have replaced the school with offices.

And just for kicks, this is a school by my apartment that was constructed this past year. Dense, but extremely expensive to build....and a on very valuable real estate. It didn't help that it was right above a subway line. Parking is underground, recreation is on the roof.


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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 7:25 PM
mhays mhays is online now
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I was going to say, that sounds kind of like offices with housing above.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 10:42 PM
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Another example from NY: 250 e57th, the replacement for PS 59 and the High School of Art and Design. In exchange for rebuilding the schools, the developer was given the right to redevelop the old school building.

Old school on the left...............................................new on the right

nycdagreatest

The tower that will be built on the old school's site:
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 1:15 PM
TysonsEngineer TysonsEngineer is offline
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Wow, great stuff guys that NYC project looks amazing, I wish I could have gone to a school that forward thinking.

@mhays I had never thought about the issue of chemical venting but couldn't this be done through the same systems that carry diesel venting for emergency backup gens or another non life safety vent? As far as the larger type athletic facilities, these again would be provided indoors or outdoors within a centralized publicly used and separated civic/recreational facility also nearby (within a half mile or 1 mile). That way that separated use, while being an additional cost can be shared by another school on the other side of it also within a mile, and not during educational use hours could be funded by gym memberships/pool use by the general public.

Keep posting examples if you know of any, I think the NYC one is spot on and I am gonna delve into researching how it came about.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 4:55 PM
mhays mhays is online now
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I'm not an expert in venting requirements. Just the proposal/research guy for a general contractor that does schools, retail, biotech, industrial, office, multifamily, etc., in Seattle.

Depending on what you're venting, it could be a safety issue or a smell issue. Schools might need to vent a bunch of stuff, from kitchen exhaust to auto shop fumes to art fumes to humid locker rooms to natural gas in the labs. They have a mix of spaces with tons of people (classrooms) that require a lot of changes and other areas with few people that need fewer. A good HVAC concept will accommodate all of this at a decent first cost and operational cost. Nobody wants an operable window anywhere near your cafeteria vents. Nor do you want your intakes next to anything but pristine air. All of this gets tougher the more you stack things.
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