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Cascade High School Addition

For many rural communities, the school and its activities are the heartbeat of the community. The significance of this relationship is amplified for this high school which is located in the largest geographic school district in Iowa (555 square miles).

The project required expansions of administrative, recreation and music programs. The new program elements extend toward the street to create a new front façade for the building, and unifying the front façade that had experienced may additions over the past four decades.

A deliberate use of clear and translucent exterior materials creates a visual dialogue between the school’s activities and the surrounding town. Daytime functions in the gymnasium become an extension of the park it faces. Clear glazing in the sunken gym connects students to the exterior at street level. In other areas the glazing is combined with translucent polycarbonate panels to create a pleasant naturally lit learning environment. At night, as music and sports activities begin, the glazing becomes a beacon to the town – and those passing on the highway – as the building emits a soft glow announcing the activities within. 

Project Type: Education, Recreation

Location: Cascade, Iowa

Size: 39,253 SF
7,721 SF (renovated)

Completed: 2014


2016 AIA Central States Design Award
2015 AIA Iowa Design Award

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