Project Description

Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School

Making the most of $150,000 Federal Grant and a construction timeframe of a six-weeks during summer break, this architectural renovation consists of subtle but impactful insertions and additions. The existing entry hall was poorly lit, dull, and lacked spaces for students to sit, collaborate, and congregate. Trophy cases, of relics long forgotten, lined the perimeter of the hall, gathering dust and little attention. The principal had a vision for a GREAT HALL that would transform an image of athletic achievement into an image of collegiate collaboration. Now 1500 students have a comfortable place to sit, work, and exchange ideas.

Each seat in the GREAT HALL is highly coveted for collaboration, socializing and comfort. The material palette consists of cost-effective elements that bring light and warmth to the once dimly lit space. Perforated metal, led strip lights, maple plywood and writable desk surfaces are used intentionally to create a unified architectural composition. Given the budget constraints, the design reused existing elements in the space. New steel is grafted onto the existing stair and provides the framework for one large light fixture in the space. Existing masonry openings are repurposed from trophy cases to collaborative spaces.

Architect: Tonic Design
Construction: Varnedoe Construction
Client: Wake County Public School System
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Photography: Tzu Chen Photography