Career Academy of Pella

PrizeSilver in Architectural Design / Educational Buildings
Firm LocationIowa City, United States
CompanyNeumann Monson Architects
ClientPella Community Schools

The Career Academy of Pella is home to 23,000 square feet of vocational shops and classrooms for the community school district in Pella, Iowa. This project represents the strong collaborative relationship between the Pella Community School District and local private schools, area industry, and a regional community college. These public + private partnerships have enabled the school district to use this space to train students of all ages in the skills needed in the local workforce and also provide for study in S.T.E.M. areas. This new building is sited immediately northwest of the existing high school, tucked into the hillside. It aligns itself to the existing topography, saving earthwork cost. The exterior material palette consists of durable materials and references the brick found on adjacent structures. One enters the building on the second level, along a double height circulation spine. This corridor has natural light and views across the adjacent grassy field. Walking along either level of the spine, one can enter the various classrooms and double height shop spaces. All study and shop spaces have access to ample natural light and are constructed of simple, durable materials that will stand up to the abuse found in heavily used classrooms and shop spaces. Each shop has direct access to the exterior and diffuse natural light permeates each space as well.