Alief Center for Advanced Careers

Architect: PBK 

Client: Alief Independent School District

Location: Houston, TX

Total Floor Area: 216,000 SF

Project Budget: $67M (appx.)

Project Responsibilities:

  • Lead Project Architect responsibilities including schedule management, tasking,
    and quality control for a production team of 3-7 on all phases of Schematic
    Design, Design Development, and Construction documentation.
  • Client and Design Team liaison
  • Program analysis and space planning
  • Code research
  • Design and constructibility review
  • BIM implementation
  • Consultant coördination
  • Construction detail development
  • Cost analysis and reduction strategies

The unique academic program is foundational to the building’s design. The building is divided into two wings. The west wing houses the “dirty” labs including veterinary technology, horticulture, engineering, architecture, construction, welding and auto tech. With concrete tilt-wall construction, a large service yard, exposed structure and concrete floors, the wing is designed to emulate the architecture and construction type industry buildings. The east wing of the building houses the “clean” programs including health science, information technology, digital design, culinary arts and entrepreneurship. Like in the west wing, the east is designed to meet professional industry standards with layout, equipment and infrastructure. The exterior is a combination of metal panel and brick masonry. Unifying the two wings is a central commons and sunken plaza space. The two-story light-filled commons contains large windows into each career path to help inspire and facilitate collaboration. The large windows also allow for tours to take place without disrupting class instructional time. The commons serves as the campus library, cafeteria as well as building circulation. The sunken plaza portion of the commons is designed to encourage student interaction and collaboration. The plaza contains a myriad of spaces for large or small groups to meet. All furniture in the space will be mobile and flexible. At the end of the plaza is the Interactive Observation Lab (IOL). The two-story volume is the heart of the facility. The lab has 360 degree visibility from the first and second floors. The space will be used to highlight significant events for each career path and will foster comprehensive interactive learning with observational seating above and around the lab.

all images © PBK