Transformation of an uninspired space into a technology-rich hub.
New Hope-Solebury School District aims to foster passionate, innovative, and confident learners who fulfill their “portrait of a graduate.” To help support this mission, the school district sought to create a hub for STEAM activities that would inspire students to discover, build, and create within a series of distinct but interconnected zones. The KSS team crafted this dynamic hub, ensuring flexibility and capacity to adapt over time as curriculum and student interests evolve.
Program elements including a robotics lab and arena, collaboration lab, digital fabrication lab, video production area, material cave, maker space, and existing wood shop are knit together by “the street,” a common connecting thread that runs the width of the space. Openings to the corridors and between program areas establish a visual connection internally, while additional glazing on the exterior allows access to daylight, views, and an adjacent courtyard. An operable glass wall separates the robotics areas from the computer lab and makerspace to allow separate classes to take place simultaneously.
The STEAM hub supports interactions at various scales, following the framework of physical and psychological safety, attention restoration, and community of learning. Students can gather on the bleachers within the robotics lab for collaborative work, conduct individual work within the digital fabrication lab, or work together at the green screen. The materials cave, a custom undulating plywood installation, aims to inspire students and offer display space for materials and finished products alike.