LAN Associates was tasked with converting an outdated autobody shop into a new state-of-the-art Aerospace classroom. The space includes an Engineering Lab, Assembly Studio, and a Prototype Workshop that provide everything students at Bergen County Technical need to follow the “design thinking” process from early concepts to working models.
In the Engineering Lab students come together and develop projects in a digital learning experience. Docking stations for tablets, large whiteboard walls, and shared seating enable students to work collaboratively on a variety of designs. In addition to the space for large collaborative builds, the classroom also provides solo workstations for smaller independent projects. The ever-evolving machinery has different requirements, and technology is fully integrated into design, so flexibility throughout the spaces was heavily emphasized.
The project site is directly across from a local airport, and a deliberate effort was made to connect the space to the historic roots of the surrounding area. Imagery from early airplanes and significant aviation moments are found throughout the space as the aesthetics and design flourishes are integrated into the classroom.
The neighboring airport raised a concern about indoor air quality which necessitated high standards for safety of the renovation. To alleviate this concern, each mechanical unit utilizes high level filtration systems to keep out any contaminants or harmful gases from aircraft.
The project was well received by students, faculty, and the architecture community. Following the project’s completion, LAN conducted a post occupancy survey in which more than three fourths of participants said the new space fosters collaboration between students, promotes creativity and innovation in learners, and aids in increasing the interest in Aerospace studies and related technical fields. In 2019, this success was recognized when the project was featured in American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase.
Bergen County Technical Schools
Teterboro, New Jersey
Architecture, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Environmental Services, Construction Administration