K-12 Education Best Project: Midvale Middle School
Midvale Middle School
Owner: Canyons School District
Lead Design Firm: VCBO Architecture
General Contractor: Hughes General Contractors Inc.
Structural Engineer: Calder Richards Consulting Engineers
Civil Engineers: Ensign Engineering and Land Surveying & Envision Engineering
MEP Engineer: Van Boerum & Frank Associates Inc.
Landscape Architect: ArcSitio Design Inc.
Midvale Middle School was designed and built around geometry, providing students with an impressive environment for learning. The goal was to bring smaller, unique features together to create a cohesive learning environment through the use of geometric design elements.
That theme is displayed throughout the school—in the benches, light fixtures and wall designs. From cube-shaped classroom light fixtures to octagon-shaped archways in the cafeteria, nearly every element of the design plays off some aspect of polygons.
Some of the most challenging components to build were the wall “sculptures” that create the appearance of a climbing wall. After base drywall was complete, metal framing was connected along the walls, around poles and break-front alcoves, and then covered in drywall. Each vertex and joint called for exact drywall cutting and the adhesion for pieces to fit perfectly into the sculpture, requiring meticulous planning. The end result is a colorful, cave-like sculpted wall that extends throughout the school.
Crews continued the theme outside, employing special concrete-finishing techniques to achieve a multidimensional look in the courtyard. By first pouring a base layer of joint-free and crack-resistant concrete, workers took turns alternately using light and heavy sandblasting to produce shades in the concrete and a feeling of walking on 3D cubes on the plaza. Whether viewed from ground level or an upper window, the concrete cubes are impressive in their size, structure and design. The courtyard design is complemented by single-pour, parallelogram-shaped concrete-planter benches.
Nearly every element of the school is interesting and eye-catching, giving students a fun, exciting place to learn, and the design adds color and texture to the residential area surrounding it.