July 22nd, 2014
By Steve Prince, Principal
Who doesn’t love a good site blast and the smell of dynamite in the morning!? Over the past few weeks, San Marcos USD’s New K-8 School site has been getting blasted in preparation for construction. The first challenge was finding an appropriate site; there weren’t many 18-acre sites available in the area, and the selected site is primarily on top of the Twin Oaks/San Elijo Hills Road region which is made up of mostly dense metamorphic volcanic rock that must be blasted down to the approved design grades. To blast such a large amount of the site, the grading contract must drill a 4” diameter hole anywhere from 3-30 feet deep at 8-10 feet on center grids, then fill the hole with a combination of dynamite, fertilizer and diesel oil. The blast team also coordinates a level of safety that includes shutting down all adjacent roads to traffic and keeping all observers far from the blast zone. And when the blast hits, the ground shakes and rocks fly beyond the property line!
Ka-boom, watch the video!
July 21st, 2014
ENR published their 2014 Top Design 500 Firms list, and HMC ranked #162 overall, #11 in education, #20 in healthcare and #44 in general building. Read the full Top 500 Design Firms list and learn more about the AE industry’s gradual recovery. >>
July 2nd, 2014
What once was a dark and uninspired basement has been renovated and transformed into the new STEM Center at El Camino College. The HMC design team partnered with the college’s leadership to re-envision the under-utilized space to create a tutorial center that supports the college and surrounding school districts’ goal of enhancing student success in science, technology, engineering and math subjects.
The new 9,334-SF STEM Center contains four group learning areas, four self-study areas, a large collaboration lounge, three meeting rooms, three classrooms, four faculty offices and a computer lab with 21 stations. The new STEM Center will also house the successful Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Program and provide STEM enrichment and outreach activities.
A new STEM learning center that supports project-based, collaborative learning
July 1st, 2014
The May/June 2014 issue of Healthcare Design Magazine features an article authored by HMC’s Chin Lee, Principal, about Kaiser Permanente’s Fontana Medical Center. The article, “Tweaking the Template,” explains how HMC Architects’ design team, “executed functional and space programming, with an extensive redesign of the template hospital diagnostic and treatment block. The design optimizes the template hospital with a layer of enhancing patient experiences, improving pedestrian circulation and wayfinding and increases efficiency and capacity within the current template footprint.” Read the full article from Healthcare Design>>
Tweaking the Template
June 17th, 2014
By Kate Diamond, FAIA, Principal and Adrienne Luce, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and President HMC Designing Futures Foundation
What kinds of learning environments support, encourage and engage students of all ages in creative explorations? What is the difference between a classroom that frames rote learning and a learning space (indoor or outdoor) that celebrates and facilitates project-based, collaborative creativity? Is there a single “teaching station” in the 21st century classroom or does the teacher roam to engage students at multiple points where the students are teaching each other?
Recently, a group from HMC (that included ourselves, Deborah Shepley and Thomas Ferrer) attended State of Stem + Arts Education, a half-day conference that was organized by the LA Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, USC STEM Consortium, Southern California Grantmakers, L.A. Regional STEM Hub and the California STEM Learning Network. As described in the event announcement, “Business leaders across California and the nation are advancing STEM-based agendas as workforce development priorities. They realize it is a business imperative to ensure that there is a pipeline of workers with the skills necessary to fill the jobs of the 21st century in order to compete in a global economy.” The event brought together more than 200 business, education, community and arts leaders to discuss the economic significance of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics also known as “STEAM” education.
>>Continue reading for a synopsis of our favorite presentations from the conference.
Making learning come alive for students and the future