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Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard

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Skaneateles Middle School Courtyard
Skaneateles, New York

Professor Don Ferlow and LSA 470/670, Advanced Suite Design Studio, 2006

The CCDR and SUNY ESF Thematic Site Design Studio collaborated with the Skaneateles Middle School on a service-learning project focused on the development of a program and alternative conceptual design studies for the enclosed courtyard at the Skaneateles Middle School.

This cooperative project involved the teachers, administration, and students of the Skaneateles Middle School and fifth year undergraduate and second year graduate students of ESF's Landscape Architecture program. At a workshop in early February, the ESF students and Skaneateles Middle School community worked together to gather and share information about the school and the courtyard, and discussed ideas for future use activities. The information gathered served as the basis for each ESF student's program development and conceptual design. ESF student design studies were presented and discussed with school community members several weeks later.

Workshop Process

After an introduction, the ESF students and members of the Skaneateles community divided into three groups composed of middle school students, faculty, and staff. Over the course of an hour, the groups completed two activities which encouraged dialogue and sharing of thoughts about potential activities and character.

  1. Cognitive Mapping: Through the mapping activity, community members discussed adjacent classroom use and circulation, and identified existing courtyard elements.
  2. Questions/Brainstorming: Through brainstorming in response to a series of questions, community members shared with each other and ESF students their knowledge of existing conditions and ideas about future use.

The design of the future space took into consideration types of desired uses, desired characteristics or courtyard qualities, physical structures that could potentially support desired activities, current site characteristics such as climatic conditions and visual access, and concerns regarding functional use including but not limited to locked doors, handicap access, supervision, and lighting.

Each student prepared a conceptual design that addressed the site characteristics and community ideas; they presented their ideas in illustrative plan, section, and perspective sketches. These were presented and discussed at a meeting with middle school community members then displayed for additional comments.


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