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The first floor of the Student Center holds two commons rooms, a game room, a media room, and two faculty offices. The second floor, accessed by an exterior cast-in-place concrete stair, houses the College Counseling Office and the International Office, which offers support for international boarding students. In the southeast corner of the building, a large, sunlightfilled meeting room overlooks the pedestrian green and the academic core. Across the plaza, the one-story Dining Hall appears dwarfed by its neighbor, though it has nearly twice the square footage. Fin walls mark the building’s two entrances and also obscure the large volume of the dining room. Andersson chose a cool blue tone for the stucco portions of the facade, and a steel pergola casts sharp, rhythmic shadows across it. As the grade falls away to the north, the Dining Hall begins to cantilever over the hillside. the main dining room is accessed via another of Andersson’s very low spaces. A long hallway opens first to the servery, a daylight-filled room with amenities — including a wok station and pizza oven — that outshine most schools’ kitchens. Grey is again the dominant hue, found in the polished concrete floors and complementary ceramic tile walls. The metal-deck ceiling is occasionally hidden by white “cloud” soffits over the serving stations. The dining room is the true jewel of this new building. Daylight pours into the soaring 5,400-sf space from three sides, and slender 17-ft-tall pipe columns support the roof above. Midway down the room, three steps lead to an upper dining area. This change in height allowed AWA to create a “speaker’s platform.” Lunchtime announcements have long been a tradition at the school, and from this platform, speakers can project to the entire room. The acoustics of the room are remarkably crisp, due to AWA’s use of baffles above a perforated metal deck ceiling. Off the upper dining area are two large meeting rooms, as well as a 750-sf terrace, which can accommodate more dining tables.

On the interior,

92 Texas Architect

11/12 2013

The dining room is the true jewel of this new building. Daylight pours into the soaring 5,400-sf space from three sides, and slender 17-ft-tall pipe columns support the roof above. While the scale of the room is dramatic, it is the view from the floor-toceiling storefront windows on the north wall that trumps all else. The room is designed to seat 340 diners. But maybe when the tables are removed, the entire student body can gather here and reconnect with the Hill Country view that first drew Rev. Brewster to this place. With the Temple Dining Hall and Booth Student Center, AWA has “completed the campus in the way Fehr & Granger envisioned it,” said Christine Aubrey, St. Stephen’s director of advancement. But one could argue that they have done much more than simply continue an established building tradition. Through a respectful reinterpretation of Fehr & Granger’s regional vernacular modernism, AWA has created its own formidable architectural legacy at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Brett Koenig Greig is an architect with Loop Design in Austin.

Texas Architect November/December 2013: Campus Architecture  

This issue explores the value of architectural diversity and creative responses to context. The discussion begins with a series on the three...

Texas Architect November/December 2013: Campus Architecture  

This issue explores the value of architectural diversity and creative responses to context. The discussion begins with a series on the three...