The International School of Denver’s newest academic facility, the Mary Louise Evans Building, recently celebrated its grand opening. Designed by Venture Architecture, in close coordination with the school community, the new 40,000 square foot facility will serve as a hub for the entire ISDenver community, providing a new learning center as well as a music, art, science and creation. , and an array of volunteer spaces for teachers and parents.
The new facility, located in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood, is the first step in a long-term campus master plan put in place five years ago. Funding for the project comes in part from donations, which will total approximately $5 million.
“Achieving this design for ISDenver was particularly meaningful to our team because of how close we were able to work with teachers and parents, which led to the incredible quality of spaces opening up today. today,” said Martin Goldstein, director of Venture Architecture. . “Their transparency and commitment to the students and their programming was incredible. This provided the clarity we needed to design an architecture that thoughtfully reflected and supported the school’s best vision for its future.
ISDenver is an inclusive, multicultural, multilingual International Baccalaureate Global School that offers an inquiry-based approach to dual-immersion education. The school boasts world-class academics, with an immersive culture and community in the heart of Denver. Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 receive a broad and balanced curriculum in the target languages of Chinese, French, and Spanish, reinforced by a strong foundation of English that increases in middle school.
Now in its 42nd year, ISDenver saw the need to update its existing infrastructure to reflect the school’s physical and educational growth. They hired Venture’s experienced K-12 independent school design team to help. The goal was to create a building to serve the wider community, unite grade-level peers, create new learning spaces, and foster increased collaboration among faculty. This can be seen with the variety of interconnected team spaces, from grade-level collaboration hallways to carefully designed classrooms to professional development spaces for faculty.
To achieve this, the Venture team engaged in an extensive process of discovery, meeting at the school with teachers and parents in more than thirty open forums to understand how the school was using the current space for learning. teaching and learning and to explore new designs of space that might better meet their needs. goals.
Through this process, Venture’s design team honed the school’s project-based learning styles and ultimately used an age-appropriate approach to workplace educational strategies and available tailored research. in other areas of design. The resulting university building combines a variety of flexible learning spaces that support the school’s project-based model of teaching, learning, and collaboration.
“Everything we do is in the service of creating the best possible environment for our students and faculty, so we knew we had to find precisely the right architects and designers to help us build a truly student-centered college and designed by teachers,” said Bob Carignan, principal at ISDenver. “Venture’s thorough, collaborative, and engaged approach to our community is strongly aligned with our school’s values. From the start of their engagement, their team has been focused on learning what matters most to ISDenver. The parents and teachers of our school also took up the challenge by supporting this project with their time, contribution and donations. The result is that every aspect of our new university building is useful, relevant to our community, and designed to serve our learners for decades to come.
Fransen & Pittman served as the general contractor on this project and Anser Project Management led the management of the project.
“Fransen & Pittman and Anser Project Management were integrated and immediately became extremely valuable partners,” Goldstein added. “They were great teammates until the end. More than most projects, it was incredible teamwork and we are all so proud of the result.
Photos courtesy of Venture Architecture