Text description provided by the architects. The 60,263 sqf program for the North Carolina A&T State University Proctor School of Education is comprised primarily of classroom and office space. The desire to create an interactive social hub throughout the facility plays a key role in organizing student/faculty lounge spaces, conference, and the public circulation. Beyond the program need, the project has aspirations to recognize and express the history of the School of Education as well as its potential future role within the University. The program also takes an additional step in fulfilling the Master Plan goals of the University by further defining the central green space of the campus.
The Education Building is organized into two ‘bars’ about a central street and atrium space. The east bar, which contains primarily faculty offices, takes advantage of the views of the quad and bell tower and is seen as a more permeable volume. The bar to the east contains classrooms and is articulated as a more opaque volume that addresses the vehicular scale of Benbow Road. The classroom bar cantilevers out over the extra large classroom to define a gateway to the campus green and bell tower plaza for pedestrians entering campus from Benbow Road to the east. The main administrative offices and Dean’s suite are placed at the north end of the classroom bar to provide a level of privacy relative to the public zones as well as a strong visual connection to the campus green and bell tower.
The central street, which connects the two ‘bars’ and parallels the east edge of the campus green, is conceptually at the heart of the scheme. More than a simple means of circulation through campus and the building, the space is seen as the social hub of the entire building. This atrium is designed to encourage interaction and socialization between faculty, administration, and students. The ground floor of the space is activated by the student lounge, furniture groupings in the atrium, the primary large classroom, general and model classrooms, and the administration suites with the most direct relationship to the visiting outside public.