Thursday, July 11, 2013

John Ronan: Perth Amboy High School Project—facilities to facilitate a communal curriculum and program atomism

John Ronan Architects (founded in 1999)
John Ronan (American, born 1963)
Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Site Model, 2004
Plexiglas and other materials
Permanent collection of the AIC Department of Architecture and Design
Gift of Perth Amboy, New Jersey Board of Education, 2009.7
Photographs by Versluis 2013

This piece by John Ronan, an architectural office based in Chicago, is in the Creative Intersections in Architecture and Design exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is on view until August 18, 2013 in Galleries 283–285. Architect John Ronan develops an intriguing merging of graphic images and color direction within a complex architectural space. Ronan’s design conveys communal unity with harmonized graphics and color program.

Close-up of the model indicating the graphical details. Middle image is courtesy of John Ronan Architects.

All information is taken from exhibition didactics:

In architecture, color is often used to demarcate space or redefine boundaries. John Ronan’s design for Perth Amboy High School utilizes color to identify five towers, each with a distinct program, and give the institution a visual presence in the community. 
John Ronan’s design for Perth Amboy High School blurs the boundaries between the institution and the community it serves. Formally, the design applied three organizational forms: the surface of the site is used for pathways, gathering space, and activities; a series of flexible buildings hold the academic facilities; and colored glass towers with distinct functions—one is, for example, a media center—are shared, with use for the school during the day and the surrounding community in the evening. As the tallest components of the design, the vibrant, translucent colored glass towers provide a signature feature for the structure and connect it visually with the surrounding area, just as its dual-use spaces connect it functionally. The overall complex is an elegant solution that encodes new formal relationships and rethinks the role institutions can play in their neighborhoods.

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