Lorain County Community College – Physical Sciences Math Studio

  • area / size 16,700 sqft
  • Completed 2015
  • Location Elyria, Ohio, , United States
  • Bialosky Cleveland designed Lorain County Community College’s Physical Sciences Math Studio located in Elyria, Ohio.

    An inspirational learning environment should be fun, engaging, and collaborative. This notion inspired both client and architect to challenge the stereotype of studying as a lackluster activity. Formerly a dark and compartmentalized chemistry lab, the new space was conceived as a clean white form paired with layered shades of blue and orange that draws students in and activates their senses. Subtle variations in texture creates a delightfully engaging tactile experience while a combination of expansive corridor glazing, skylights, and indirect lighting provides tuned color temperatures that boost concentration. Materiality doubles for visual interest and acoustic control; fabric divider panels, acoustic clouds, carpets, and imaginative felt structures all contribute to the function and feel. Being agile in how it adapts to multiple modes of learning, the Math Studio employs flexible tables, chairs and mobile marker boards allowing groups to expand, contract, and reconfigure from study to instruction.

    As a complement to basic design techniques for learning environments, the Math Studio was further inspired by complexity and beauty of mathematical principles. Parametric equations of a sin curve and geometries of polyhedrons manifest as intriguing spatial features, resulting in creative study spaces that exude imagination and joy. These rhythms, patterns, and geometries were infused on perforated acoustic metal ceilings at the entries, laser cut felt wall panels in the private study rooms, reconfigurable acoustic art behind the reception, and a sound cloud of felt baffles over the study carols. These subtle “mathy” concepts inspire students’ imagination and enthusiasm for their studies, while also addressing the key concern of the open space: acoustic sensitivity for tutoring. Transformed by the very subject studied within it, the Math Studio invites students to discover, study, and experiment with mathematics in an engaging, vibrant environment.

    ArchitectBialosky Cleveland
    PhotographyDavid Berlekamp, Kevin Reeves