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When it came to the construction of a 67,000 square foot instructional addition that includes a 650-seat auditorium, state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and offices for Southwest DeKalb High School, designers for CDH Partners also created a plan that included a partial renovation of this major educational facility.
The two-story facility was designed to create an iconic presence on the campus and within the community. Window walls at the entrance to the structure provide an abundance of natural light and passive solar gain. The auditorium itself is one of the largest in the district. At 650 seats, the facility was built to accommodate as much of the school’s population as possible. Currently, it’ll hold half of the student population. This auditorium will be used for the performing arts, the musical arts, and also the spoken word. It allows for a lot of functionality within the space and gives those at the school a multipurpose use of the auditorium itself.
CDH principal Melissa Cantrell says, “The band room is designed to utilize both the indoor and the outdoor space of the facility. The room is large enough to incorporate the entire marching band but is also set up so there could be a back drop installed to open up the doors to the amphitheater, which is located to the perimeter. This outdoor amphitheater is intended to be an outreach to the community and provide an impromptu area to meet and to gather.”
“We incorporated within the design of the auditorium space a large curtain wall that was designed to open up the building to the community. It is an area that will contain an art gallery for student artwork and an area for the performing arts to allow the community to see into the facility both day and night. And allow it as a beacon to the community to bring them and engage them into the facility.”
This important addition presents a contemporary and dominant façade to the street. And its modern style includes tall folding doors at the rear of the building, which open to an outdoor grass terraced amphitheater. These large connecting doors allows indoor and outdoor activities to interact.