St. Michael's Student Center
St. Michael's Student Center - Tucson, Arizona (2004)
A multi-use facility for private Parochial Day School (K-8) for assembly, performance, and chapel, as well as physical education. The original adobe church and classrooms was designed by Josiahs Joesler in 1953. The design of the Student Center contrasts the new with the old, while yet relating in scale and proportion. The high central bay of the gymnasium is surrounded by lower masses which contain support spaces, to reduce the apparent volume of the new building. The new structure is connected with the old by covered walkways, with steel columns and metal decking in contrast with the traditional wood beams and decking of the original.
A water harvesting system captures rain that falls on the building's roof, and stores it in four 20 ft. high concrete cisterns located at each corner of the building, which provides for even distribution and gives architectural expression to the water harvesting function. The Student Center is the largest public water-harvesting project in Tucson to date. Rainwater now irrigates landscaping and courtyards on campus, creating opportunities for environmental education regarding sustainable means of living in the desert. The building is passively ventilated by operable clerestory windows at the north and south, and the east wall rolls open to admit breezes from the adjacent City park to rise through the space and cool it by convection (spring & fall). The clerestories also provide natural day-lighting. The Student Center received the "BEST OF TUCSON" award for Public Green Building from the Sonoran Institute in 2004. 10,000 s.f. net area, budget $ 1.5 M. General
Client: St. Michael's Vestry & School Board
Contractor: Cobre Building Systems
Status: Completed 2004