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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Institutional Buildings
  4. United States
  5. SOM
  6. 2016
  7. U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character & Leadership Development / SOM

U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character & Leadership Development / SOM

  • 09:00 - 20 June, 2016
U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character & Leadership Development / SOM
U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character & Leadership Development / SOM, © Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat

© Magda Biernat © Magda Biernat © Magda Biernat © Magda Biernat + 19

  • Client

    United States Air Force Academy
  • Structural Engineer

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • MEP Engineer

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Civil Engineer

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Sustainability

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Lighting Consultant

    Brandston Partnership, Inc.
  • IT/Acoustics/AV

    Cerami & Associates
  • Theater Consultant

    Fisher Dachs Associates
  • Historic Preservation

    Robert Nauman
  • Cost Estimating

    Faithful + Gould
  • Topographic Survey

    Nolte Associates, Inc.
  • Code/Fire Safety

    CCI
  • Wind Tunnel Testing

    RWDI
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat
Site Plan
Site Plan

Text description provided by the architects. The Center for Character & Leadership Development (CCLD) will serve as an education and research center, supporting the Air Force Academy’s mission to integrate character and leadership development into all aspects of the Cadet experience while also serving as a think tank for leadership and character development initiatives nationwide.

The CCLD also represents an important and symbolic addition to the Academy’s campus, which SOM designed in 1954, and was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2004. As the  first building constructed in the Cadet Area since the 1990s, the CCLD creates an architectural focal point for the campus, and serves as a counterpoint to the Academy’s iconic Cadet Chapel.

© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat
Section
Section

“Character and leadership development is the essence of the Air Force Academy’s mission and is interwoven into every aspect of the Academy experience,” says Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy. “This iconic structure represents our bold vision to become the premier venue for the integrated study and development of character and leadership.”

The 46,000-square-foot building is located at a critical meeting point between the cadet and public areas of the campus. The building serves as a nexus, with spaces dedicated to cadets, professors, distinguished visitors and the public. It contains the Forum, a flexible gathering space for academic and social interaction; a series of collaboration, conference, and seminar rooms; o ces; library; and the Honor Board Room, where inquiries related to the Cadet Honor Code take place.

© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat
Floor Plan
Floor Plan

“Our design for the CCLD creates a distinct and contemporary icon for the U.S. Air Force Academy, while also deferring to the discipline and rigor of the original campus plan,” states Roger Du y, Design Partner at SOM. “We were honored to have this opportunity to revisit one of our most important projects, and to make a 21st-century contribution at the heart of the campus.”

The CCLD features a dramatic 105-foot skylight, a design element that establishes a bold presence on the campus, while bringing ample natural light into the building. This glass-enclosed structure aligns precisely with the North Star, which signifies the Academy’s guiding values. By aligning this new center for community and collaboration under the North Star, SOM’s design creates a meaningful architectural interpretation of the Academy’s aspirations.

© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat

With its complete integration of architecture and structural engineering, dynamic nature of its form, and machine-like precision,the skylight is  fluid yet disciplined. 

The structure of the skylight consists of diagonal steel plates composed in a triangular grid and precisely calibrated to resist the lateral forces due to wind loading. The Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) is devoid of all embellishment or ornamentation, and its sleek connections are cohesive with the aesthetics of the structure.

© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat

At the center of the building, the Forum’s terraced levels will accommodate gatherings at a variety of scales and levels of formality. Glass- walled collaboration rooms surround the Forum, offering meeting spaces that emphasize the quality of transparency that is central to the building’s design.

Symbolically placed at the building’s heart, the Honor Board Room features a conference table situated beneath a glass aperture that opens onto the larger skylight above. A cadet seated at the table will be precisely aligned with the North Star. The interior of the Honor Board Room is kept deliberately simple, with walls,  floor and ceiling clad in maple, to emphasize the table illuminated at the center of the room.

© Magda Biernat
© Magda Biernat

Designed to meet LEED® Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the CCLD will set a new standard for green technology and building practices on the U.S. Air Force Academy campus. To meet this sustainability goal, and to potentially obtain LEED® Gold certification, SOM developed integrated building systems that influence all aspects of the building’s design, construction, and operation. The CCLD features an energy efficient approach to climate control that utilizes high-efficiency air handling units, displacement ventilation, radiant heating and cooling, and a solar chimney effect within the skylight structure that expels heated air. In addition to the ample natural light provided by the skylight structure, the building’s classrooms, meeting rooms, and o ces are situated around two adjacent courtyards to minimize the use of artificial lighting.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character & Leadership Development / SOM" 20 Jun 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/789740/us-air-force-academy-center-for-character-and-leadership-development-som/> ISSN 0719-8884
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© Magda Biernat

美国科罗拉多空军素质与领导力发展培养中心 / SOM