intrinsic charter schools
Wheeler Kearns Architects
Intrinsic Charter Schools' Belmont Campus is located in the former Shannon Lumber Company building in the northwest neighborhoods of Chicago, serving 925 students in 7th through 12th grades. The classrooms are "pods" in which students work independently with their assigned Chromebooks, in one-on-one 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 spaces. Acoustical approaches incorporated quiet mechanical systems, strategically-placed absorptive finishes, separated science labs, and strategic placement 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.