project details

Client
Intrinsic Charter Schools

Architect
Wheeler Kearns Architects

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Intrinsic Charter Schools

Intrinsic Charter Schools' Belmont Campus is located in the former Shannon Lumber Company building in the northwest neighborhoods of Chicago. The school currently serves 430 students with the potential capacity for 925 students in 7th through 12th grades. The classrooms are designed around pods in which students work independently from their assigned Chromebooks, in one-on-one teacher and small group learning environments. With as many as 90 students per pod, acoustic challenges include control of overall din, creating quiet zones for individual study, and supporting speech so the teachers don't have to shout – all within a LEED-S context and in soaring, high-bay wood and masonry structures. Acoustic approaches incorporated quiet mechanical systems, strategically-placed absorptive finishes, separated science labs, and use of coat closets as buffers between pods that are open to each other, helping Intrinsic's unique spaces to function like traditional classrooms while honoring the building's industrial history.