LAN Wins National Award for The Forge at Ridgedale Middle School

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LAN Associates has been awarded the Outstanding Design Award from the national publication American School & University for the design of The Forge at Ridgedale Middle School in Florham Park, NJ. The Forge, which was completed in 2022, is a cohesive center for the maker movement and robotics studies that reutilized outdated programmatic space for a new robotics studio, STEAM Lab, and connecting foyer. The project was honored in the Technology and STEM Center category.

The design process kicked off with visioning sessions held to draw inspiration from stakeholder and student input, which was integral in transforming the former equipment drop-off into a sought-after production studio and robotics lab. 

The entry to The Forge welcomes students with a new colorful graphic-infused corridor lined by glass walls that allow a peek into the learning zones. The new classrooms offer a vibrant center for modern learning that sparks creativity. Occupants are drawn to teaching walls and other learning areas dispersed throughout, which are highlighted by circuit board lighting. Movable wood slab tables offer additional flexibility by providing a place for group prototyping and the ability to break off into personalized solo designing. The new design suite is equipped with personal whiteboards, green screens, camera equipment, and advanced prototyping machinery to provide opportunities for envisioning, producing, and marketing ideas.     

LAN Associates is a full-service architecture and engineering firm that provided architecture, interior design, construction administration, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services in support of completing this innovative educational space renovation. The award-winning design was part of a much larger series of projects funded through a $24.8M referendum passed in the Fall of 2019. In addition to the STEAM Lab, LAN designed a new Media Center, Auditorium, and various capital improvements at Ridgedale Middle School and a variety of other projects across other district schools. 

American School & University is a national publication focused on educational architecture. LAN’s design of The Forge at Ridgedale Middle School in Florham Park is featured in their August 2023 issue alongside projects from other top design firms who won this year’s competition in their respective categories.             

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