Dobyns-Bennett High School Regional Science and Technology Addition

The Dobyns-Bennett High School Regional Science and Technology Addition is a state-of-the-art facility that allows the school to advance their history of academic success in the sciences while establishing a new gateway to the existing campus. The design strategy is rooted in the client’s desire to create learning spaces that could both meet their aspirational goals while maintaining flexibility for how students might learn in the future with a bold building form that looks towards science and innovation.

Design Challenge

The main challenge of the project was how to add onto a school composed of hexagonal shaped pods topped by 3-way barrel vault roofs. To engage this geometry lightly but respectfully, the existing angled walls of the masonry pods were offset to create a triangular shape that connected to the original entry point and then spread out to create the new school identity. The form feels like a natural extension of the older building because of the shared geometries and how the new building maintains a sense of symmetry similar to the old.

Physical Context

The offset of the new building from the masonry pods allowed for the creation of new landscape zones on both sides of the addition which contain pathways that meander between the buildings and underneath the open air connector bridges as well an exterior classrooms with tiered seating. Whereas the existing building is nearly completely opaque and had no views out, the new building is primarily transparent, offering views out onto the courtyards, the pathway as well as the foothills of Bay’s Mountain.