A four-time winner of the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Award, among other education honors, Adlai E. Stevenson High School serves as a centerpiece of educational excellence in its community. Taking an architectural translation of the community’s academic pride, the architect has designed a prominent and energetic new entry addition.
Where FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio once-deteriorating concrete bridge spanned a dreary courtyard, the new entry now serves as a center for a mix of open and intimate spaces. Five floor levels come together in this bright space, welcoming casual or planned student activities. Lighted throughout by a clerestory, the grand entry is reminiscent of an agora—a democratic place of collaboration, discussion and interaction. Perforated fins that shade the sun and glare are integral architectural elements to allow transparency between, inside and out.
A reflection of a student’s energy and ambition, the entry needed to be uplifting—a structure that has to be restrained or it will fly away. Its canted, rigid steel members make it seem barely tethered to the ground, always in motion, lifting itself off the ground.