LEARNING ON DISPLAY
The Flex Tech building occupies a significant site within the LCCC Campus. It is both the east terminus of the central mall linking the academic core, as well as the first impression of the college for the community. The east façade, a curtain wall of glass housing the “Flex Tech Space,” is illuminated at night to showcase the efforts of LCCC Career Tech students and put learning on display. The space sets the tone for showcasing a professional tech environment, engaging industry partners, and recruiting students, and can also be used for classrooms, conferences, or community events and receptions.
To foster greater interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration, the concept of putting learning on display also influenced transparency in the learning environment. Visual connections between classrooms and shop space, offices and shops, project areas and classrooms, and project areas and break out spaces expose students both inside and outside the Tech programs to the possibilities of the industry. This transparency also assists supervision and creates a safer Tech learning environment. Wide corridors with comfortable seating, “eddies” next to interesting spaces, and areas outside faculty offices collect students to further provoke collaboration.
BUILDING AS MACHINE
The underlying concept inspiring the design was that of a machine itself. As mentioned, the “Flex Tech Space” creates connections between students, teachers, and industry. This energy activates a circulation system that moves students and teachers through social linkages to a visible education environment where learning is transformed into production. The concept manifests itself at the detail level where the masonry design in the courtyard is inspired by the geometry of a diesel chain that parallels student movement.