APS Syphax Education Center
Arlington Public Schools (APS) serves over 25,000 students in 35 separate facilities with a total gross area of approximately 4,400,000 square feet. Administrative functions for the school system were located in three separate buildings spread throughout the county. To improve operational efficiency, the county wanted to relocate all staff to a single, more centralized location. The construction budget was limited and the county wanted to project an appearance of fiscal prudence in the use of materials and finishes.
In response, this design provided an open plan design using colors and clear sightlines to articulate the location of each individual department. The work involved meeting with and securing approval from all nine department heads and senior staff in each of the county’s departments. The work included the creation of a new school board meeting room, with associated audio visual and broadcasting functions.
All photos copyright Hoachlander Davis Photography
APS hosts continuous training and large meeting events. Flexibility in function was paramount for all four floors. Each floor has a bar of large meeting rooms accessed directly from the elevator lobby that can be combined into one extra large meeting space.
Informal meeting areas are scattered throughout to provide quick access for collaboration. The majority of staff are located in open workspaces with access to daylight.
Building Core and Office Pods
To help orient visitors and staff navigate the large floor plate, floating office pods – painted green seen here, are designated a different color on every floor. The building core is painted dark gray on every floor (at left).
Offices hover at the edge of the open workspaces to maximize borrowed light to all spaces. Painted a bright color and applied wayfinding, the pods act as navigation devices.
Axonometric of Arlington Public School administration facility