Project's Summary

Maier Hall, a remarkable multi-disciplinary center for fine arts, music, humanities, and instructional support programs, stands proudly at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. Designed by the renowned architectural studio Schacht Aslani Architects, this state-of-the-art facility spans an impressive 69,650 square feet. Its purpose is to provide students with cutting-edge instructional spaces for a diverse range of educational programs.

Within Maier Hall, one can find the College's Learning Center, as well as general purpose classrooms for Math and English. Additionally, the building boasts dedicated studios for both Music and the Fine Arts. However, the true centerpiece of the hall lies in its magnificent 134-seat performance hall, which serves as a versatile classroom. This space can be acoustically tuned to accommodate music performances, lectures, and even film screenings.

The design of Maier Hall is not only functional but also fosters a sense of community and engagement among students and faculty. It aligns perfectly with the College's mission of becoming a regional hub for continuing and higher education. Furthermore, the building's strategic placement aims to connect the campus's community spaces to the surrounding natural environment, while minimizing any negative impact on the adjacent ecosystems.

Nestled amidst virgin forests, wetlands, and an ecologically-sensitive ravine, Maier Hall showcases a harmonious blend of architecture and nature. The building's form gracefully wraps around a grove of first-growth trees, serving as both an edge to the existing campus and a gateway to the captivating wetlands and woodlands beyond. An open-air breezeway entices students to venture from the campus through the building, leading them to a viewing platform at the wetland's edge, providing a serene connection to the natural world.

Sustainability lies at the heart of Maier Hall's design. All new plantings consist of native species that require no permanent irrigation system. Rainwater is thoughtfully collected and directed to the adjacent wetland, which had suffered due to the campus's original stormwater system. The inclusion of an epiphytic roof adorned with native mosses helps reduce the heat island effect, while exterior sun screens minimize glare and unwanted solar heat gain. The building's heating is ingeniously provided by a geothermal well field and ground-source heat pumps.

Natural light, ventilation, and cooling take center stage in Maier Hall, thanks to the clever use of operable windows. This design choice not only bathes the students in the beauty of the surrounding environment but also reinforces the College's commitment to sustainability and their increasing emphasis on environmental issues within their programs. In fact, the project was designed to surpass the 2011 target of the Architecture 2030 Building Challenge, aimed at reducing energy use intensities, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on fossil fuels.

Maier Hall has been deservedly awarded LEED Gold certification, a testament to its outstanding sustainable design and construction. This architectural marvel is a true testament to the vision and expertise of Schacht Aslani Architects, as well as a testament to Peninsula College's commitment to providing its students with an exceptional and environmentally conscious educational experience.

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