- Owner: Cincinnati Public Schools
- Architect: McGill Smith Punshon
- Engineer: M-Engineering, Westerville
- General Contractor: Monarch Construction
- Project Size: 85,599 sq. ft.
- Precast Size: 42,100 sq. ft. walls; 70,000 sq. ft. Hollowcore
Academy of World Languages
The strikingly attractive building features several complementary finishes within each panel. Exposed aggregate provides bold texture and an earthiness that befits the school’s wooded surroundings. A subtle, uniform sandblast finish appears alongside an acid etched treatment that deepens colors for contrast and imparts a stone-like appearance. Horizontal lines of vibrant ruby red tiles below crimson-framed windows add contrast across the façade, while vertical lines of blue tiles almost make the seam between panels an aesthetic feature. Finally, insets of alternating yellow and blue tile provide a visual counterpoint to the exterior light fixtures directly above them. Overall, it’s a colorful, vibrant exterior that reflects the energy and discovery of learning.
Merrill praised the aesthetic versatility of precast. “It allowed us to play with colors and textures, maintaining a simple yet still attractive building,” he said. “We were able to gain economies through repetitive patterning and use scale and massing to keep the building interesting and not overwhelming to the kids.”
The benefits extended to the interior walls as well. The precast sandwich wall panels were prefinished on the inside with paint filler and institutional grade paint. Durable concrete will withstand decades of heavy use and abuse from energetic children. Furthermore, the prefinished interior eliminated the expense and time that a field-constructed interior would have entailed.
Key Project Attributes
- Sandwich walls provide continuous insulation of approximately R-11.8
- "... repetitive patterning and ... scale and massing ... keep the building interesting."
- Steel troweled interior walls delivered ready for paint