By Sabrina Santos

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of its CAE Education Facility Design Awards, which honor educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

A variety of project designs, such as public elementary and high schools, charter schools, and higher education facilities, were submitted to the Committee, many of which incorporated “informal and flexible spaces for collaboration and social interaction adjacent to teaching spaces,” as well as staircases with amphitheater or forum designs.

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Walter Taylor Award: e3 Civic High School; San DiegoCalifornia / LPA, Inc.

From the entry park the central circulation provides students with more than just a path of travel. The transparent connection between education and community is emphasized with the central steps and gallery space connecting the two floors. Every gathering space has a pull out or quiet area and every learning cluster or village has a small team room in addition to the larger social space. These informal environments support 21st century learning skills with areas for critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. To encourage movement throughout e3, every space has multiple functions to give purpose and attract multiple users.

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