Plano ISD—Plano East Senior High School Addition
Architect: WRA Architects
This signature addition is situated on a highly visible and significant part of this large high school campus. On the last remaining large open space, the school’s iconic “Front Lawn,” the building form was carefully crafted to honor its prominent view and accentuate the large campus lake it faces. Next Generation learning spaces for Math and Engineering with wide views of the lake, several Collaboration Areas, and a shaded Outdoor Learning area. A serrated design allows due-North-facing glass.
Designed for wide views of the campus lake and ample daylight, the project has deep overhangs and a shaded Outdoor Learning Space on the lake. The design continues the existing architecture providing seamless continuity. The architect created a serrated plan concept in order to keep the building’s Southeast façade close to the lake and allow due-North-facing windows. Another challenge was to keep the West face window-free and yet still architecturally interesting as it is the street face.
To save energy and provide good natural light while avoiding the West sun heat-load in the Classrooms, a serrated floor plan was designed to allow due-North-facing glass in the Classrooms. The Southeast façade facing the lake has a long, deep overhang to minimize morning solar heat gain. The project replaces portable buildings and includes mechanical upgrades, high efficiency HVAC equipment, LED lighting with sensors. Materials are no-VOCs, highly durable, long-life-cycle, low-maintenance.
The addition connects the Math and Engineering students with each other in a far more collaborative setting, and with their outdoor natural environment by providing expansive views of a lake through a long continuous shaded wall of glass, a shaded Outdoor Learning Space right on the lake, and several open Collaboration Areas. Many of the classrooms face Due-North and every North wall is entirely glass. Interiors are flooded with natural light. Sustainable LED lighting and high-efficiency HVAC.
The aesthetic of this well-known community landmark is maintained with seamless continuity in this addition. This addition extends the life of a large neighborhood destination with many multi-use community spaces. This signature addition is situated on a highly visible and significant part of this large campus, the last remaining large open space; on the school’s iconic “Front Lawn,” the building form was carefully crafted to honor its prominent view and to accentuate the beautiful lake.
The aesthetic design continues the existing architectural style, designed to present seamless continuity between existing and new. Being on the campus’s very visible front approach called for an innovative concept. A serrated plan places the building next to the lake, avoids West sun in the Classrooms, and gives the school a striking new front façade on the most visible spot on the site. Classrooms face due-North, all glass. Site planning preserved green space on this increasingly dense campus.
The project provides a 32,500 SF replacement for several large portable buildings, transforming the Math & Engineering spaces into an innovative, open learning environment. When the students moved from their portables into this new modern classroom wing, the transformation they sensed included not only their connections with each other, with several open Collaboration Areas, but also their connection with nature, being oriented toward the lake, a shaded wall of glass, and Outdoor Learning space.
Star of Distinction Category Winner