ED lab INC
Robin Randall

Mother McAuley High School
Master Plan and Chemistry Labs Addition

“Road Map to Independence” and
“Chemistry of Collaboration”

Architect: FGM Architects
Senior Designer, Project Manager: Robin Randall
Photography: TBD
Client: Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School

Master Plan completed 2010, Chemistry Labs
scheduled to be completed 2012
Science of Learning:
The master plan supports the high school’s administrative goal of an independent facility. Projects will be phased in as funding becomes available and priorities are identified. Selected as the first two priorities, the new parking lot and chemistry lab addition take a step towards self sufficiency. Single gender education sparks debate on customized learning environments for young women and how girls thrive. The chemistry labs are conceived as concentric areas for collaborative learning, classroom configuration at the core with the labs stations surrounding the flexible seating area.

Language of Nature:
Extending learning to the exterior, the courtyard includes outdoor classrooms, with native landscaping, a water habitat, and vegetated walls for urban farming. Rain water is harvested through roof scuppers, cisterns, bio swales and permeable pavers. Vertical solar control airfoil fins on the east facing windows bounce natural light into the labs and prevent heat gain and glare. This project was designed to LEED silver standards and received an Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grant.

Art of Innovation:
The new chemistry labs have natural ventilation through operable windows located above the chemical resistive countertops. Double sided fume hoods act as pass through openings between the prep rooms and laboratories. Direct/indirect energy efficient lighting suspended below the high ceilings softens and diffuses light. Smart boards, island computer access, equipment storage in glass fronted cabinets, display cases, and shared team offices are just some of the features that set a modern precedent for future additions.

FGM Architects Awards:
  • Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grant

Cover Page

Chem Labs Presentation Board

October Sustainability Team Eblast