iTech Preparatory will be a 77,600-square foot school in the Vancouver Public School District for about 700 students, grades 6-12. The project will be built on the Washington State University Vancouver campus. iTech is a unique learning environment where students learn using integrated methods, project based approaches, collaboration, and technology. This is reflected throughout the design and in the building’s story. The design is grouped into three different types of spaces: laboratory classrooms, general classrooms, and a café/fitness area.
Each of these spaces connects through a grand central area for presentation and events. This space is the heart and core of iTech. It is an atmosphere that creates a connection to the exterior landscape, offers a place to collaborate and present, and brings students and staff together. Visible from this central space are the fabrication labs and learning spaces with areas to showcase students work and put the iTech “process on display”.
Regarding the exterior, the building’s location on the site implements strategies to collect rainwater and generates settings for students to engage with the landscape. The public entry to the building crosses over a storm water retention area, while the student entry experience happens on the opposite side of the building through a bridge to the second story. The confluence of these entry experiences is the grand central space on the interior, where the story of iTech begins to unfold. From the exposed fabrication labs allowing glimpses into projects that are underway, to galleries showcasing student work, to informal collaboration between students and formal presentations, a visitor in this space begins to grasp the unique learning process at iTech.