As libraries go digital, where do books go?
At the heart of every academic institution is the campus library. It’s where students study for midterms and, against the better judgment of their instructors, pull all-nighters before finals. More and more, the library, and the nature of learning itself, is experiencing the great movement of the 21st Century—the shift from physical to digital.
Preserving Assets, Expanding Access
Thousands of items are added to libraries’ collections each year. Whether a university or public library, chances are that premium space is limited, yet collection expectations and demand for materials remain high. Where can these compendia be housed, yet still be readily accessible? The increasingly popular answer – high-capacity, climate controlled off-campus library storage – less circulated assets are sent to storage, liberating prime shelving for the more popular, heavily rotated items.
Glacial Dimensions: Art Expressing Climate Change
A breathtaking exhibition at Kean University is bringing the arctic inside. Glacial Dimensions-Art and the Global Ice Melt, housed in the Karl & Helen Burger Gallery at the Center for Academic Success designed by KSS Architects, is the first of a semester-long partnership between Kean’s School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (SESS) and University Galleries. Documenting the international effects of climate change, artists Diane Burko and Paula Winokur deliver the reality of ongoing environmental events to the local community through the intersections of art and science.
What is Wellness?
Wellness is the fulfillment of the vast span of our needs. At a basic level, these include air, water, food, clothing, and shelter. And as the capacity of the built environment evolves, we can further fulfill needs likes afety, esteem, belonging, and self-actualization. Connection is at the heart of wellness—connection to self, to others, to nature, and to the world. A successful approach to wellness is one that proactively synthesizes many individual elements, supporting and empowering people and communities toward greatness.
Workplaces that Inspire
Good workplaces are many things—welcoming, vibrant, light-filled, and driven by a mission. They promote well-being. At their essence, they provide a comfortable environment where service is at the forefront.
At KSS, good workplaces come to life through our design process, where we work hand-in-hand with clients to craft designs that are economical, sustainable, and reflect the dignity of both employees and those being served. We believe a great workplace can be the heart of urban renaissance—places where people can come together to live, work, play, and collaborate.
Here’s a collection of some of our favorite workplaces designed with innovation, tact, and intuition to achieve our clients’ vision.
A Renaissance for Camden
Decades of stalled starts are giving way to a new era in Camden development. Business, grassroots activities, plans to attract new residents, and a focus on education are uniting to craft a robust, multiprong approach to change.
Design for People with Special Needs
We believe that environments can fundamentally alter the behavior of individuals with ASD, and that, all too often, individuals find themselves struggling against the parameters of a space. Building ASD-friendly environments has become part of our vocabulary.
What is an urban food desert? Often located in low-income, high-development areas urban food deserts or “nutritional wastelands” are running over with fast food restaurants and expensive convenience stores, but little to no affordable healthy food options. For the folks who live in these areas the fresh produce that does exist is outrageously expensive, which makes the trip to the corner fast food restaurant more appealing and economical. As one of the leading issues facing New Jersey, much has been said about the concept of urban food deserts. According to the federal government, New Jersey contains 134 “nutritional wastelands.” How can New Jersey solve this problem locally? Enter the entrepreneurs.
How did 19 high school students design a 60-floor, mixed-use tower in Center City, Philadelphia?
And how was it one of the “Most Innovative Hands-on Projects,” as recognized by the White House’s US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards Program?
Certainly, support from the students’ personal lives, accessibility through the ACE Mentor Program, and seven A/E/C professionals dedicating their free time to engage young minds helped. Half a year of team-building with hands-on exercises, interactive brainstorm sessions, extensive guidance on technical process, and successfully unleashing the creative prowess within the high school seniors paved the way to the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The recognized project, Comcast Tower II (Re-imagined), was the brainchild of 19 students (“ACE Team 6”) from G.W. Carver High School of Engineering & Science in North Philadelphia. During 15 sessions over the course of six months, mentors from KSS, Gilbane, Keast & Hood, and Schrader Group exposed students to a broad spectrum of design-related issues.
Breaking Down Campus Walls
When university expansion provides tangible improvements to the community and engages community in the planning process, everyone benefits. Community resistance becomes community support. The Charter High School and West Side Campus are models of this approach and provide a new, positive meaning behind the phrase “town and gown.”
A Community of Care
No longer is childcare for young children simply babysitting. Today’s childcare centers are dynamic places of learning. They are real educational facilities where children grow, play, socialize and share, and where families receive holistic support, guidance, and care. More than just a place to pass the time while mom or dad are at work, they are community-oriented anchors activating and rejuvenating neighborhoods, towns, and cities.