Florence Middle School won the 2019 Top Block Design Award given by the Alabama Concrete Industries Association and AIA North Alabama Chapter
From the National Concrete Masonry Association | http://www.ncma.org
"First and foremost they wanted something that was going to be timeless - a classic design. And they wanted something that was going to be secure for the students. Part of that is durability - the wear and tear on middle schools is pretty tough, so concrete block was a 'no-brainer' option."
When architect Calvin Durham and his team at Lambert Ezell Durham Architecture in northern Alabama were tasked with designing the new middle school in their hometown of Florence, they knew right away that they could draw upon structures of the past.
The 180,000 square-foot space is a partial Tuscan ode — design-wise — to the former Appleby School, which opened in 1917 and was eventually replaced in 1951.
“We used some of that detailing and some of that ‘feel.’ We didn’t copy it so much as we used that same vernacular of elements to kind of draw back on,” Durham noted.
What he and none of his associates on the project expected however, was for one of the most renowned voices in the world on the subject of school safety to proclaim their new structure one of the most secure schools he’s ever encountered.
“I was blown away,” said Durham.
Read more> How CMU allowed an architect to design one of the five safest schools in America
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