Students design blueprints for new high school campus

A team of 13 UH students, including Daniel Serna, Pamela Franco, Long Kim Nguyen, Edgar Carrizales and architecture professor, Patrick Peters designed a new campus for HSPVA. After a semester of studying and sketching, the team showcased their ideas at the HSPVA Gallery Thursday evening. | Yasmine Saqer/The Daily Cougar

A team of students from the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture on Thursday unveiled their blueprints they have created for the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

The inspiration was different for each student, and that helps shape the vision for the new building, said an associate professor and graduate design and build studio director, Patrick Peters.

Peters has been worked with the 13 UH students for the design of the new HSPVA campus.

“I wrote Principal R. Scott Allen last fall before the bond election proposing that I assign this new HSPVA downtown campus as my senior studio design project this spring,” Peters said. “He enthusiastically welcomed the idea, and we began our planning.”

He said the students have each made their own designs.

“Each of the 13 architecture students designed his or her proposal to the assignment, but they will not be built,” Peters said. “The professional architecture team, headed by Gensler, will be designing the actual building, but they asked us to share the students’ work to study.”

The students were selected by course registration and interest. While Peters worked as a critic and teacher, the students worked on their schemes individually.

Architecture graduate student Long Kim Nguyen was one of the selected students to contribute to HSPVA’s new campus. After visiting the school and interviewing students and faculty, Nguyen and his team were able to grasp ideas for the new design.

“Because we relocated the school to Discovery Green, we analyzed the area to see what’s going on,” Nguyen said. “Each of us did our own research. There was no group work at all, and my concept was based on what I saw from the urban analysis.”

He wanted to bring the culture of the high school into the new design and contributed to the interactive aspect.

“I created a main entrance  or central atrium — that they call a ‘common space,’ to bring daylight into the building and to help students interact and circulate around the school,” Nguyen said. “I merged and weaved all the programs around, so students of different departments can interact with each other.”

Nguyen recounted his biggest challenge about the project.

“The circulations were the most challenging,” Nguyen said, “How people enter the building, how the bus drops off … it’s really hard to create an entrance or a circulation of how people get in and out.”

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