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Our Work › Civic › City of North Port Public Safety Building

Civic

City of North Port Public Safety Building

North Port, FL

Fostering a sense of community and civic pride in the thriving West Villages, the new City of North Port Safety Building anchors the gateway to Downtown Wellen. The campus-like structure houses fire rescue and police from east to west, joined at the center by a public entrance plaza and lobby. Its footprint captures qualities of permanence and lightness, with a planar composition of brick, stucco, and glass. Whimsical abstractions of pike poles, essential in firefighting, carry prominent roof elements. Stretching 24,000 square feet along Tamiami Trail where it meets Preto Boulevard, the building’s corner features bright red fire house doors. Here, a 1946 Seagrave fire truck is housed within a glassy display room, evoking the rich history of North Port Fire Rescue and glowing at night like a lantern for the community.

Facing east along Preto Boulevard, the new Station 86 provides offices, sleeping quarters and support space for the City of North Port and Sarasota County in this shared facility. A stair tower for rappelling, ladder, hose training, and other simulated conditions affords personnel on-site practice adjacent to a four bay, double-deep apparatus room. At nearly 6,000 square feet, the sun-lit bays ready the rescue vehicles and fire trucks with bright red metal and glass doors, their names boldly announced above.

Just beyond the apparatus room, the entrance drive brings the public to the south-facing main entrance, where the full expanse of the campus can be experienced. Visible from left to right are the rescue helipad, a 1,600 square foot police garage for support equipment, dedicated parking for police, fire, visitors, and the Safety Building itself, all focused around a contemplative Hero Plaza. Here and throughout the facility, the men and women who have served are memorialized and honored for their dedication and achievements. Next to this plaza is the soaring main entrance and covered gathering space. From the public lobby, the fire rescue and police departments share a 1,000 square foot training room and fitness facility. To the right are the kitchen, dining and aforementioned fire rescue quarters. To the left are the reception, offices, meeting rooms, roll call room and support for the police department. A 1,400 square foot space is being built for anticipated expansion, to serve the community in its continued growth.

With an efficient layout, quality materials and sense of gravitas, the new North Port Public Safety Building honors history while looking forward, performing optimally for its first responders and department staff, and meeting the needs of the thriving West Villages for many years to come.

Our Work › Senior Living › Trinity Woods

Senior Living

Trinity Woods

Wauwatosa, WI

Trinity Woods is an intergenerational housing community on the campus of Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. The project is the result of a partnership between the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mount Mary University, and Milwaukee Catholic Home. PRA was brought on to lead design efforts for the 258,000 square foot community that houses 52 assisted living units, 90 independent living units, and 24 private family units for undergraduate single mothers. The facility will be a continuing care retirement community for aging sisters as well as other members of the community. The facility will also feature an early childhood development center for up to 100 children. Trinity woods was conceived to encourage serendipitous and supportive interactions between all occupants.

Exterior design elements of the community reflect the collegiate gothic style of the Mount Mary University Campus. Steep red gabled roofs with parapets are complimented by a material palette of stone, siding, and trim in warm gray tones to tie in with the existing campus. The interior design features a palette of wood, limestone, blue, and metal accents in a warm transitional style. Key public spaces, such as the chapel and dining room, feature artwork and stained glass from the Sister’s former campus to preserve their rich history.

Our Work › K12 Education › Oak Creek High School-Performing Arts & Education Center

K12 Education

Oak Creek High School-Performing Arts & Education Center

Oak Creek, WI

The Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District sought to update aging high school facilities and to provide a dedicated performing arts center for student and community use, providing new opportunities for students interested in the performing arts. PRA, in partnership with Nexus Solutions, assisted in a district wide study and successful referendum. The resulting projects include the construction of a new Performing Arts & Education Center (PAEC) and new dedicated space for career and technical education addition (CTE – Auto’s, Manufacturing, Wood and Construction), and miscellaneous interior renovations.

The new Performing Arts & Education Center replaces the existing theater, which was located within the gym. The new theater is a state-of-the-art 1,000 seat theater providing cutting edge spaces to increase opportunities for students in the performing arts. This venue is one of the largest high school theaters in the state. Choir room, band room, and supporting spaces are renovated in support of the enhanced program.

The building is designed to showcase the curriculum and support complementary career paths: The scene shop is located near the construction lab enabling collaboration across classes. The green room is uniquely designed in uni-sex fashion to increase functional space and reduce inefficiencies. Nearby classrooms support pre / post function for entertainers using the stage.

The automotive technology program now includes five bays, arranged in a new motor court.

Our Work › Corporate › MRA – The Management Association

Corporate

MRA – The Management Association

MRA and PRA joined forces to convert an existing office building into a dynamic new headquarters for their employees and a state-of-the-art training center for their members. Combining elements of hospitality design with cutting-edge office planning, both spaces offer occupants access to a variety of spaces to work throughout the day, from traditional conference rooms and low walled open workstations, to focus rooms, dividable training rooms, breakout lounges, and engaging cafe areas. The visitor experience is paramount, with directional and branded monitors throughout, two fireplaces to warm the heart and color-coded training room entrances to help them find their way. The message is clear: the design of MRA’s new Milwaukee home is a reflection of the quality services they provide.

Our Work › K12 Education › McKinley Elementary School

K12 Education

McKinley Elementary School

Wauwatosa, WI

In 2018, following a successful $124.9 million referendum, the Wauwatosa School District embarked upon a program of facility modernization and replacement affecting fourteen schools.

McKinley Elementary School is a 77,600sf replacement school serving 4k-5 grades. This school is built from a common ‘kit of parts’ developed for use on all of the projects, causing initial concern within the neighborhood. Listening sessions allowed the local community to offer ideas used to develop a unique character for the school, such as placing the building to provide green space easily accessible by neighboring homes, using durable exterior materials and design detailing to link the building to local historical architecture, and the use of internal materials and amenities salvaged from the prior school and displayed in a number of unique ways. The new McKinley Elementary is the result of community input, providing modern learning spaces in a way that links children and families across generations.

McKinley Elementary was awarded the Award of Excellence from IIDA Wisconsin Chapter. This project was also featured my OnMilwaukee as part of their Urban Spelunking articles.

Our Work › K12 Education › Lincoln Elementary School

K12 Education

Lincoln Elementary School

Wauwatosa, WI

Lincoln Elementary School is a neighborhood school on a small, urban site in the Wauwatosa School District which recently received a fully renovated interior and large additions as part of a referendum. The project expanded the school into a three-section 4k-5 elementary school and modernized the building for innovative learning opportunities, while maintaining the charm of the original school built in 1919. The entire site was re-designed to provide safe outdoor spaces for students and the community, including a unique outdoor classroom that enhances the educational opportunities.

Multiple community engagement sessions were held during planning stages to build neighborhood consensus about respecting history and representing the ideals of its community. The school exterior evokes historic design with materials and proportion, while also incorporating modern design elements such as expansive glazing. The 1919 charm is maintained and celebrated through carefully exposed structures that showcase the rich history of prior craftsmanship involved 100 years ago.

By engaging with community members frequently through planning stages, strong consensus was gained for an overall design that incorporates the needs of future users. The form and position on the site were a direct result of input received. The design features central circulation to show views of the neighborhood. The playground was designed to protect children from busy roads and to connect to the neighborhood, which is a key feature of the school. The school and site are rooted in the fabric of the neighborhood and have been designed to extend its reach beyond the school day.

Material palette selections feature a blended contrast of modern and historic influences. Existing brown brick is accented with fiber cement and industrial-look metal panel. Classrooms have a neutral palette, allowing teachers and students to add color of their own. Each room is equipped with operable partitions, encouraging collaboration between classes. Breakout spaces flooded with natural light are located near every classroom grade level, emphasized with school branding colors, tackable surfaces, and digital displays for interactive learning.

Working to keep the bones of the 1919 building intact, the design carefully exposes existing structure where possible to showcase the age and rich history of the school. One area features salvaged doors that are used to create an inspiration wall upon entering the school. Another detail is in the library, where a child-sized learning stair is created using the stair railing from the existing building. To acknowledge the next 100 years of this school’s lifespan, a metal beam was signed by current students and staff before installation and was placed in the cafeteria for the future community to experience.

Learning does not stop at the walls of the building. An outdoor classroom provides educational opportunities focused on sustainability, including solatubes for sun monitoring, a green roof, a visible gutter system for rain collection, a climbing plant trellis, planting beds with root windows, and a rain garden. The outdoor learning pavilion is designed around environmental choices and teaching the community.

Lincoln Elementary School was designed to empower the littlest learners and to create a better, more flexible future for the students and community of Wauwatosa. Built on the foundation of 100 years, it is now capable to endure the next 100.

Our Work › Higher Education › Milwaukee Area Technical College

Higher Education

Milwaukee Area Technical College

The MATC Facilities and Administrative Leadership Teams were at a turning point. While Administration was embarking on their Pathways initiative to help students discover the educational path that most interests them, the Facilities Team recognized the need to standardize and unify the aesthetic qualities of common-use interior spaces, and common materials for exterior aesthetics. PRA and MATC worked together as the project evolved to include defining new design aesthetics that would embellish the MATC brand and make it more recognizable. This began the Master Planning process.   

PRA collaborated with MATC to administer and evaluate student and staff surveys to understand what worked, what didn’t, and what was desired. Together we published the MATC Design Guidelines that are applicable to the Common Spaces and exteriors of 1.93 million SF, 19 buildings, 30,000 students (annually), and over 900 instructors. 

As part of our efforts, we developed Interior Common Areas, which consist of Crossing Nodes, Information Nodes, Study Nodes, and Elevator Lobbies out of existing corridors. Given the diversity of architecture across the campuses, we also found common elements to establish brand consistency for the exterior aesthetics. The Campus Gateway and Campus/Building Identification signage enhances the entrance, makes it more evident, and ties it all together with streetscaping.  

Following the issuance, MATC again engaged PRA to execute the Design Guidelines for the contiguous 2nd levels of the M, C, & T Buildings, as well as the connecting skywalks, at the MATC Downtown Campus. 

Our Work › Senior Living › HarborChase of Evergreen Walk

Senior Living

HarborChase of Evergreen Walk

South Windsor, CT

HarborChase of Evergreen Walk is a new, 113,000 sq. ft. assisted living and memory care facility in South Windsor, Connecticut. PRA provided architectural and interior design services for the 65 assisted living units and the 48 memory care units, along with the numerous common space amenities. The facility provides a variety of dining options including a bistro, a formal dining room, a private dining room with an exhibition kitchen and pizza oven, and a bar and lounge. Other amenities include a grand two story lobby, a wellness center, a beauty salon and numerous other activity areas. The two story memory care wing contains its own dining room and activity space on each level. A large clerestory and skylights provide ample daylight into the common spaces. Memory care residents also have access to an enclosed courtyard which provides safe and secure access to the outdoors.

The interior design of HarborChase of Evergreen Walk marries traditional and contemporary furniture, fixtures, and finishes to create a hospitality-like atmosphere. Neutral tones ground the design, while colorful accents and patterns provide interest and a warm, comfortable environment for residents.

Our Work › Residential › Lemon Bay Apartments of Englewood

Residential

Lemon Bay Apartments of Englewood

Englewood, FL

The Lemon Bay Apartments is a 68-unit, multi-family residential community in Englewood, Florida that is comprised of four, two-story buildings stretching across six wooded acres. The apartment homes consist of one- and two-bedroom floor plans and are reminiscent of coastal architecture with bright palettes, nautical detailing, deep overhangs and metal roofs. Affording breathtaking views of the protected wetlands and mature pine flatwoods, the apartment homes provide residents with individual entries directly to the outdoors and enclosed private lanais. Additional site amenities include walking paths, resident carports, business office, fitness center, outdoor kitchen with picnic pavilion, sun deck and community pool.

Our Work › Corporate › Educators Credit Union

Corporate

Educators Credit Union

Mukwonago, WI

The design concept for the new branch for Educators Credit Union in Mukwonago is the result of an extensive design process that included many stakeholders. The design reflects Educators Credit Union’s trademark red color, flower logo and the brick used in its previous buildings. The design also was driven by the integration of new video remote teller and providing a setting for Educators’ trademark hospitality.

To meet these goals, the plan of the building is divided into two parts. The first part of the bank is the central member space which includes the main transaction area and a hospitality space for members to utilize. The member space is surrounded by the second part of the plan, the support spaces, including offices, a conference room, toilets, and mechanical rooms. The result is a soaring light filled member space which is also divided into two areas. The first contains a greeter’s podium with glass faced staff offices behind it. The interactive teller machines are located at the back wall forming a focal point in the bank. The teller machine spaces are designed to protect individual privacy. These semi-enclosed booths allow members to complete transactions via video. Built-in trash and purse shelves provide for convenience. Separating the transaction area is a curved screen wall. The wall incorporates an informal meeting area, coin machine, an interactive flat screen and a counter for hospitality components. On the opposite side of the screen is an area dedicated to hospitality. Comfortable seating focused on a fireplace featuring Educators red brick and artwork featuring a map of Mukwonago provides a relaxing place to wait and linger near a private conference room.

The work completed at Educator’s Credit Union in Mukwonago was awarded ASID Bronze for Design Excellence for Corporate/Office projects by the ASID Wisconsin Chapter, and achieved 2nd place/Award Excellence for corporate projects under 5,000 SF by the IIDA Wisconsin Chapter.