Lone Star College—Westway Park Technology Center
Architect: Brown Reynolds Watford Architects
The Technology Center is a satellite campus strategically located in one of the largest business hubs in Texas. The campus provides an environment for collaborative learning and promoting aspects of STEAM based programs. The program was designed to provide digital and visual training for young students and professionals in a joint environment. Corporate partnerships and collaboration create a professional environment to learn, create, present and grow skills in the world of technology.
The Technology Center consisted of approximately 50,000 GSF for high technology workforce programs on the first and second floors of a building that has never been occupied. The Design Team provided programming, design, interior design, furniture selection, construction documents, bid support, and construction administration for this project. Interactive sessions in groups as large as 25 were instrumental during all creative phases of the project.
Value was achieved using an empty shell with all utilities and adaptability of existing building systems. Life-cycle costs are supported using simple material palettes made up of highly durable materials, including polished concrete floors, porcelain ceramics and recycled terrazzo in key areas; all long-lasting and low maintenance. Efficient control systems for HVAC and LED lighting support reduced cost for electricity and continued data for monitoring the performance of the building systems.
A high-performance education environment is energy and resource-efficient as well as healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities for a quality education. Striving for efficiency was a common goal of the design team. Sustainability was achieved through focused efforts in water conservation, material selection, indoor air quality, and energy efficiencies. Partnerships with client, architect, and contractor were important goals for the project and wellness of the end-users.
The environment allows cross-collaboration of students, professionals, and various departments to push the boundaries of each discipline to draw strengths and knowledge from each corner of computer science, software engineering, artistic creativity, visualization and business leadership communities. The school’s connections to these giants in the industry enhance and provide a place to learn and train in an environment that is open and visually transparent.
The planning process was collaborative with the client and end-users through a series of workshops that identified the goals of the project at the schematic design phase. Visual inspiration sharing between the architects and the teaching core yielded consensus of the feel and design concept. Visual simplicity, natural light, open spaces that expand learning zones; promoting what the students are doing to anyone moving through the center.
Programs includes Cisco labs for hardware and software development, Microsoft Labs for training and software mastery, Visualization Labs for graphic and creative development, a large-scale Learning Theatre that promoted visual presentation and leadership skills, and a hands-on Mission Critical server system to encourage network understanding and training. This transformational learning environment supports a trained workforce ready to fill thousands of open technology based positions.
Star of Distinction Category Winner