Our design for Tointon Academy of Pre-Engineering is the first new, non-replacement school to be built in the district in over 22 years. It’s named after long-time community advocate and district champion, Bob Tointon, who spent over 42 years building Colorado’s engineering, contracting, and manufacturing industries. His ideology of pre-engineering combined with lineage of his integrated career legacy is the foundation of design parti embracing the notion of “confluence” as the inspiration of the building design, both in configuration and architectural vernacular. In literal terms, the district sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Cache la Poudre and the South Platte.
The confluence concept is represented by a connecting ribbon that weaves its way through the main learning communities and organizes the major building program elements. Serving as a wayfinding device, its undulations create “eddies” that become opportunities for small group learning and collaboration. Small learning communities are scaled to accommodate varying age groups and allow for inquiry-based and project-based learning. Mobile, flexible furniture supports multiple configurations for movement associated with inquiry-based learning activities. The interior design promotes transparency into instructional spaces and reinforces building systems as learning elements, while a graphic package reinforces the fundamentals of engineering and science concepts.