West-MEC Aviation Technology Center

Glendale, Arizona

  • FIRM

    DLR Group


    Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC)

  • AREA

    47,000 sq.ft.





Known for its innovative career-technology education programs, West-MEC wanted their Aviation Technology Center branded by a distinctive exterior and interior design that speaks to the passion of aviation and flight. The design concept of a hangar, necessary for the educational program, goes beyond the typical metal hangar shell, taking advantage of the opportunity to ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$140.42FEATURED IN2014 Architectural Portfolio an architectural and school-brand statement in the industrial region surrounding the Glendale Airport.


Expressions from the plane fuselage are found throughout the interior of this 47,000-square-foot building, from lobby lighting details inspired by overhead light consoles in aircraft, to banding on the walls similar to the detailing on small planes. Students and visitors immediately understand they have entered a place of aviation study. Also inspired by the interior of a private jet, the conference room walls angle and merge into the ceiling plane to create a sense of being in the fuselage. Similar to the communication tools used to navigate on the tarmac, striping and super-graphics guide users into and through the building. This playful interpretation of education and technology inspires students to learn and the community to enjoy and appreciate this revitalized corner of this industrial community.