THE HUB AT INVENTURE ACADEMY
A lightweight pre-engineered building system is utilized in unique ways to create a series of functional, resource-efficient, and inspiring spaces for this school in Bangalore, India.
A simple, repetitive roof structure with a 150-foot clear span provides sun and rain protection to a large semi-enclosed sports and assembly hall, stage, and three smaller studio buildings that house the arts, music, dance, and maker space programs. These low-cost, high-performance structures are passively cooled, capture daylight, provide views of nature from every space, and collect all of its rainwater to recharge the local aquifer.
Area: 5,000 square meters
School Size: 1,200 students PK-12
THE HUB - DRAWINGS
DESIGN STORY OF THE HUB
Narrated by the architect, this video tells the story of how a tree became the design parti for The Hub.
THE HUB - PROJECT GALLERY
A lightweight pre-engineered building system is utilized in unique ways to create a series of functional, climate responsive, and inspiring spaces for this K-12 school in Bangalore, India.
Located at the south end of the campus circulation paths, the rectangular building footprint provides a new edge to an existing sports field.
The shaded interior of the new pavilion provides a welcoming gesture to the existing school. Located at an intersection of the main campus circulation paths, the pavilion creates a new ‘hub’ of activity for the students and staff.
When designing the enclosed studio spaces, I recalled this small temple built under the protection of a large banyan tree growing next to a lake in Bangalore. Nature providing protection and comfort for human activity.
Like the relationship of the banyan tree and temple, a big roof protects three smaller studio buildings, keeping them cool with full shade from the sun and allowing for continuous air flow over their exterior surfaces.
With limited access to electricity, the use of passive design strategies including daylighting, thermal breaks, thermal mass, and cross ventilation resulted in a very low energy footprint and a comfortable interior.
Low ‘branches’ are cantilevered from the main steel frames to support a continuous canopy. The ample shade and cool touch of the stone will keep sports field spectators comfortable, even on hot days.
The light-colored roof acts as a giant umbrella, reflecting heat from the sun, supporting activity during the rain, and collecting rainwater to recharge the local aquifer to ensure future water security for the school and neighboring community.
A 2.5 lakh litre (66,000 gal) underground holding tank stores rainwater until it seeps into the aquifer.
Previously scattered throughout campus, the Music, Dance, Art, and Maker Space programs are now located in one place, improving their ability to deliver program by removing noise and mess conflicts with the academic classrooms and increasing their potential to grow as a cohesive unit.
By opening all classrooms directly to the exterior and eliminating interior circulation, one additional classroom could be built within the same enclosed floor area as a typical classroom layout with double-loaded corridor.
A unique and important aspect of the school’s culture and life is the Annual Student Production. With all of the programs that support Production now located directly behind the stage, the event can be constructed, rehearsed, and performed all in the same space.
Dance and Music Studios on the right; three Maker Space Studios on the left; and a two-story Art Studio in the middle - each with high ceilings, access to daylight and views, and acoustically isolated from the adjacent studio buildings.
Bathed in daylight, the wood-fibre acoustic wall panels and sprung wood dance floor give a sense of warmth and comfort to the interior of these industrial steel enclosures.
Continuous bands of clerestory windows daylight the interior of the studio spaces, minimizing the need for electric lighting. Sliding glass doors provide cross ventilation and a direct connection to nature.
For the Maker Space and Arts Studios, durable, industrial-grade finishes were selected to support student creativity by eliminating the worry of making a mess or damaging ‘precious’ surfaces.
The big roof appears to float at night, transforming the daytime sports and assembly hall into a magical performance pavilion with seating for 1,500. Natural ventilation and human warmth keep occupants comfortable during a performance.
When the house lights go down and stage lights go on, the physical space ‘disappears', focusing all the attention on the amazing stories of life unfolding on stage.
To learn more about Brian's diverse range of design skills and applications, view the select projects highlighted below.
ROSES IN CONCRETE COMMUNITY SCHOOL
Oakland, CA USA
Founding Board Member and Facilities Chair
In 2014, Brian helped start this K-8 charter school with a focus on social justice and equity. As Facilities Chair on the Board of Directors, he is able to jump up from the building project scale to the community scale and work directly on the conditions required to create a sustainable and healthy community.
As a founding board member, Brian did whatever was needed to get the school up and running and align resources to best support the school's purpose. This included finding a school site, negotiating a lease with the school district, preparing bid documents for initial renovations, budgeting, and leading a construction team to prepare the site to support our program. After the first couple of years, Brian's work focused more on strategic planning (including facilities), community engagement, securing funds for facilities development projects, leading summer construction projectsas owner's representative, and occasionally troubleshooting random electrical and plumbing issues.
ROSES IN CONCRETE COMMUNITY SCHOOL - The S.P.O.T
(Students Producing Oakland's Transformation)
Oakland, CA USA
Funded by Google, a multi-disciplinary team designed a first of its kind culturally responsive computer science/makerspace curriculum, built out a 2,000 sq ft dedicated makerspace, and developed an assessment tool to evaluate meaningful student progress.
Two portable buildings from the 1960s, originally scheduled for demolition, were restored to create an environment where students of color could develop a love of learning and the skills needed to transform their community.
INVENTURE ACADEMY - Primary Library Renovation
This low budget renovation project transformed a classroom-sized library for Primary School from a storage room with books to a comfortable and inspiring reading room.
New bookshelves were arranged at the edges to create reading nooks. Amoeba-shaped tables floated in the middle. Throw rugs, bean bags, warm-colored pendant lighting, and portraits of famous authors created a new sense of comfort and inspiration that was missing in the space prior to the renovation.
INVENTURE ACADEMY - Makerspace Program and Original Makerspace Classroom
A multi-disciplinary team worked together to design a new makerspace program at the school. Geetha Narayanan (Founder Director at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology) focused on curriculum design and creativity in curriculum development; her colleagues at Srishti, Gautham Dayal and Vanya Gautham, translated the curriculum to learning units, materials required, and furniture /equipment needs; and Brian focused on the interior design, furniture design, purchasing, and construction.
The original Makerspace Classroom was developed on a very low budget and housed in an existing lower level multi-purpose room. The learning from this early project allowed the program to develop and grow slowly on its own, eventually leading to an expansion of the program and a move to a much larger space in the new Sports and Arts building: The Hub.
ESCUELA BILINGUE INTERNACIONAL - San Pablo Campus Renovation and Interiors
Emeryville, CA USA
Sr. Associate, Ratcliff Architects, Emeryville, CA USA
The design of this new campus reflects a bold vision for a lasting, flexible, and innovative learning environment that is reflective of the EBI learning experience. The project transforms a 38,000 sq ft existing industrial building and site into a high-performance learning environment. The building design includes durable and sustainable materials and energy-efficient mechanical systems to minimize operating costs and impact on the environment.
Classrooms and break-out spaces at the building perimeter connect to an active central zone that provides flexible space for shared resources, break-out activities, private conferences, and opportunities for social interaction.
To adhere to a limited budget, we retained the industrial feel of the original building interior and performed minimal yet transformative work on the exterior that included a bold new paint color and a new entrance. Energy modeling demonstrated that spending more money on a more efficient mechanical system and keeping the existing single-pane exterior windows was the most cost-effective option long-term when considering the lifetime operational costs and first costs together when compared to the cost of replacing the exterior windows.
WINDRUSH SCHOOL - Classroom Building
El Cerrito, CA USA
Sr. Associate, Ratcliff Architects, Emeryville, CA USA
LEED Platinum Certification
AIA San Francisco Design Award - 2009
Best of Green Buidling Award by California Construction, 2009
Top Green Project by MyGreenPallette.com, 2010
This innovative classroom building is one of the greenest learning spaces in Northern California, saving energy and providing a high-performance and healthy learning environment for its K-8 student population.
Taking advantage of the school’s bayside location, the building features naturally ventilated and cooled classrooms with radiant floor heat, an insulated concrete building shell, and photovoltaic panels – enabling a projected energy savings of 50% over baseline. The project was one of the first school buildings to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Platinum certification.
The building’s minimalist detailing and regular bays reflect the design of the historic main campus building, a modest concrete structure built in 1934 as the Chung-Mei Home for Boys. The new 14,000 sf addition provides seven new classrooms, a library, and lobby for an adjacent gymnasium and fulfills the School’s commitment to its community to provide a building that makes living green a tangible lesson of sustainability.
SUSTAINABLE SCHOOLS SURVEY
Independent Schools in the San Francisco Bay Area
Sr. Associate, Ratcliff Architects, Emeryville, CA USA
In 2009, after winning an AIA-San Francisco Design Award for one of the first LEED Platinum school buildings, Brian realized how little impact one high-performing project could have on reducing the energy and resource consumption of an entire campus. To better understand this issue, he led a sustainability metrics study, comparing resource consumption patterns of independent schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Armed with data on energy, water, waste, transportation, he was able to advise clients on the environmental impact of their entire operations compared to peer schools. This study led one school to become carbon neutral and helped Brian develop expertise in complex water issues.
YUDH - Bharathanatyam Dance Theater
Creative Director and Graphic Design
The Yudh project presented a unique design opportunity, building on Brian’s design and graphic skills, to explore the essence and culture of Bharathanatyam dance in its contemporary form. Instead of shooting the dancers in traditional Bharathanatyam poses, Brian focused on capturing the ‘life’ of the story as portrayed through dance theater.
After watching rehearsals and completing several test shoots, we decided on a few key scenes from the story that we could portray in the images. To capture the dynamic nature of the dance, most of the images were shot with the dancers in motion, constantly moving, to avoid the traditional static portraiture.
Brian worked closely with photographer Shishir Saxena, the artistic director/choreographer (and neighbor) Savitha Sastry, and the dancers Kalpana Sivan, Sukanya Ramanan, and Varsha Vishwanath from Singapore to compose the images and make the final selections. Brian was responsible for directing the shoot, post-production editing, and graphic design of the posters. The posters were created to promote the event being performed at the Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay in Singapore with support from the National Arts Council of Singapore.
Registered Architect in California (USA) and India,
AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Brian Feagans is an architect, designer and strategic facilities advisor to institutional clients in the US and India. His work focuses on creating healthy, sustainable environments that help organizations increase the value they can provide to their community.
In 1995, prior to receiving a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, Brian explored the world on a one-year traveling fellowship from Berkeley and hasn't stopped traveling since, shifting to Bangalore with his family in 2014.
Master of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 1996.
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.