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Westminster School

Armour Academic Center

Designed for 21st Century learning.

This robustly programmed, centrally located building houses multiple academic and administrative functions. Its large, bustling and light-washed central atrium is an active hub of learning on campus. The building is organized into three academic “districts” consisting of the central atrium and library, a humanities wing to the west and a science and mathematics wing to the east. The three-story atrium is the new heart of the campus, providing a place for the entire school community to gather for weekly assemblies and special events. The lower level features a lecture hall, planetarium, school store, and student lounge.

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Fitting into the campus context.

The massing of this large building is broken up to make it appear as an assemblage of different buildings. The atrium cuts straight through the building, connecting the two major sections of campus. Major trees were preserved, helping to reduce the Center’s scale and giving it the appearance of always having been there. The exterior design complements the existing campus architecture and relates to the adjacent Tudor style building.

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An intellectual and social hub.

The Armour Academic Center offers multiple spaces for students to gather and collaborate as well as take on spontaneous meetings with faculty. Casual seating nodes are spread throughout the building.

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Designed to transition to net-zero.

The building is sited on an east-west axis to maximize daylighting and utilizes geothermal heat exchange. A high efficient mechanical system, increased insulation, aggressive glazing choices and efficient lighting design contribute to a reduction on energy consumption. A high efficient irrigation system reduces the overall potable water consumption and saves more than 1 million gallons of water annually. The geothermal system is designed to transition to solar power in the future allowing the building to reach net-zero.

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