Renovations and Additions to
The Dallas County Community College District
hired Booziotis and Company Architects to design a building that
would house individual portions of the registration process into
one common area on one floor, while housing the computer labs
and classrooms for their popular Continuing Education and Multimedia
programs on another floor. It was envisioned that this building
would become the "front door" to the campus while respecting
the existing architectural style.
Richland College previously housed the
numerous components of their registration process in a number
of buildings that overlook the central water feature of the campus.
Each of the buildings is connected through outdoor covered walks
that facilitate a sense of interaction with nature. The college
wanted to add a building to the southwest corner of the complex
that would emphasize that interaction, while providing an entry
to the campus. This entry needed to be easily accessible to first
time students and those enrolled in the Continuing Education
program who attend for specific computer training courses.
Booziotis and Company Architects provided
the college a building that is
designed as two parallel buildings with an enclosed mall between.
The orientation of the buildings rotates the perspective of the
visitor ninety degrees from the rest of the campus to direct
views through the enclosed mall toward
the pristine setting of a lake. The design borrows the element
of the concrete T-column from the campus and elongates its dimension
to create an interior space with considerably higher ceilings.
The high ceilings allow clear viewing of instructional material
in the second floor computer laboratories, as well as a grander
sense of space in the first floor Student Intake Center. An exterior
walkway, culminating in a circular platform overlooking the lake,
connects the new building to the existing campus, while adjusting
the floor level to be above the one hundred-year flood plain.
Lounges at either end of the second floor provide opportunities
to overlook the central space and see directly through the building
to the grand entrance at one end or the lushly treated lake at
The successful conclusion of this building
required a commitment to the final vision by Richland College
and the Dallas County Community College District. The original
master plan included enclosing open areas between existing buildings
to conserve available funding. To achieve the final design, the
college allowed Booziotis and Company Architects to revise the
master plan and re-study the program. Once the plan for the "one-stop"
registration center was realized, the college and the district
worked together to insure its success. The commitment to design
included the acceptance of unique lighting fixtures proposed
by the architects. These fixtures included lighting the central
space with "mirrors" hung from the ceiling to diffuse
light from focused lamps mounted on the side walls to provide
a soft outdoor quality to the light for queuing spaces on the
first floor. Suspended fixtures in high-ceilinged offices and
classrooms provide diffused light to facilitate working on the
computer without sacrificing lighting levels required for reading
and writing. To add natural light to the building, a system of
clerestories and a central skylight running the length of the
enclosed mall were incorporated into the design. At each end
of the skylight a "vertical lantern" is created by
randomly placed colored LED light-bars surrounded by a patterned
fritted glass enclosure. These lights are computer controlled
and can be programmed to change colors as the college desires.
It results in a striking entrance that can respond to the emotional
needs of the college.
The final result of this commitment from
the college and the district to a high level of design has manifested
itself in a building that attracts and inspires students to reach
beyond their comfort zone and into that realm where most only