ED lab INC
Robin Randall

Parker Junior High School

“New Entry Pavilion – A Beacon of Welcome”

Architect: FGM Architects
Senior Designer: Robin Randall
Photography: Mark Ballogg Photography
Client: Flossmoor School District 161

Completed in 2010
Science of Learning:
A limited program of secured entry and office remodel transforms to a beacon of welcome and a place of gathering. Inspired by the spirit of education at Parker Junior High School, the two-story pavilion envelopes visitors and learners, creating a new image for the school. The footprint of the pavilion breaks through the plane of existing stone walls to orient the visitor and provide barrier free accessibility. Nurturing learners of all kinds, the gathering area is used for impromptu meetings and pull outs as well as public gatherings during school events.

Language of Nature:
The pavilion raised the roof of the vestibule to flood the interior with natural light. The deep roof overhangs protect the south, east, and west clerestory windows. The two story glass entry wall is oriented to the north to welcome visitors and diffuse light. Existing stone walls appear to turn the corner and wrap the lobby walls to support the new roof structure. Convex ceiling panels turn up and outward to maximize natural light penetration and create an uplifting spirit.

Art of Innovation:
To encourage efficiency, a secure window pass-thru is located between the vestibule and reception area for parents to conveniently drop off forgotten items without entering the building. Disguised by the ceiling clouds, the upgraded mechanical and ventilation systems improve energy efficiency. Where natural light was previously absent, all offices now have views into the pavilion, the school hallway and front drop off zone. This creates a school wide command post and exceeds client expectations in solving security issues.

FGM Architects Awards:
  • 2008 Illinois Association of School Boards, Exhibition of Educational Environments