Orcutt Winslow
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Flexible, Open, Collaborative Space Fosters Next Level Opportunities for Educational Engagement and Socialization

Bioscience High School

Phoenix, AZ

PXU’s Bioscience High School is an immersion into exploration itself; designed as an evolving teaching tool, with the future of science and technology in mind. Through responsiveness to environment, culture, and urban context, a unique educational philosophy is supported by way of architecture. Fossils are cast into the large east and west facing concrete walls to tell the story of geological time relationships and illustrate environmentally-appropriate orientation for solar exposure in the Sonoran desert, while finishes are designed to represent DNA strands and chromosomes, with signage in the style of the periodic table of the elements. 

Open to a diverse socio-economic student population, the building responds to the district’s program that emphasizes collaboration, team teaching, and independent learning. A town square concept compliments flexible classroom and lab models that have the ability to morph with upcoming technology, rigorous curriculum, and various teaching strategies, preparing students for mentoring and internships with Bio-Genomic Research Neighbors and the surrounding TGEN community. 

The vast, open environment offers socialization opportunities and a central focal point through the great stair in Town Square, suspended from the roof structure above by cables. Large glass overhead doors open to the desert courtyard for special events that can extend over to the amphitheater. Everything is open, flexible, connected to the whole, and can be manipulated by the occupants.