Learning Hive
Arch 140
Chris Benton and Gail Brager
Site Location:
Washington D.C., 38°N
Design Period:
Spring 2008

Many school districts use portable classrooms, but often these spaces have poor daylighting or views. The intent of this project was to rethink the portable classroom with these criteria in mind and design a 24’ x 48’ space to hold 30 students.

This was a team project, and the design of the exterior skin and the construction of the physical models were collaborative; the digital models and shading studies were solely my work.

After experimenting with physical and digital models, we settled on the ratio of 1:2, width to depth, for the honeycombs, which reduces solar gain during the summer and allows solar gain in the winter.

We built a 1/16” scale model and simulated lighting conditions at different times of day with a heliodon. In addition, we carved into the wall, changing the depth of the honeycombs to highlight and accentuate the space.