Perth Amboy High School

The building is "infrastructural" where parts remain physically constant but operationally dynamic. These are called Arrays. Other portions of the building evolve physically in accordance with spatial needs that arise. We think of these as "eventual". They are the result of collaborative events between diverse program sponsors, educational leaders, researchers, intellectuals and thinkers. These event-generated spaces are called Accumulations.

Arrays are used to constitute basic building elements arranged in a serial fashion according to programmatic departmental requirements. Arrays are quantitative assemblages of rationalized contained space. We array: Academic Branches, Identity Courtyards, Instructional Commons, and Ornamental Stairs. The arrayed elements are seen as material components that remain physically constant over time, experiencing change due to operational shifts. We use Accumulations to support sponsored programs initiated by students, instructors, administrators, private industry advocates and parents. PAHS participants accumulate: Sponsor Forums, Support Programs, and Plug-On Expansions. The accumulated elements are seen as localized academic components that require a temporary venue for a pre-established period of time. These Accumulations occur when experts are imported to provide unique instruction and financial support to the school. Together Arrays and Accumulations provide a strategy for taking concrete steps toward the planning of a vital building while acknowledging the open future, circumstances impossible to predict yet nonetheless necessary to plan for. It is our expectation that advanced institutional facilities will be required to perform much like intelligent organisms, absorbing and processing internal issues while engaging, influencing and shaping the environment and context around them.

Education is the product of an energetic landscape of diverse and positive forces and influences, each calibrated to enrich those working within it. These forces are at times traditional and predictable, at other times they surprise and enlighten. PAHS will maintain an inclusive philosophy and broad strategy for coordinating local and global program sponsors. We use a concept of System Form to promote and manage these diverse internal and external alliances. It is through the use of System Form (as diagrammed) that we project a plausible scenario for what could happen at PAHS between the Auditorium, 9th Grade, the Auxiliary Gymnasium, the Business and Industrial Information Technology Academy and the Visual and Performing Arts Academy. Of course, these scenarios are fictions we have created to illustrate the operational dynamic that must ensue with any environment of quality given the inevitability and need for change. Other scenarios exist for different quadrants of the building. It would be our approach to develop these scenarios with PAHS representatives in the next phase of design, to incorporate and promote a full and robust school, ambitious enough to fulfill the expectations of the City of Perth Amboy and its constituents.