top of page

Published October 1, 2021

Back in Session

Discover the top education designs on Mortarr


By Mortarr Staff Creators

School is back in session across the country, and the spaces students are inhabiting have never been more important (or scrutinized). The commercial construction + design industry plays a crucial role in the design and building of these spaces, including the materials and products used. Here are our valedictorians for the top education projects on Mortarr.


Mortarr Subscriber: Giroux Glass Inc.

Pro Team: Ferrari Images, Ellison Balanced Doors, CRL Entice Doors, Panda Doors, Alliance Window Company

Certifications: LEED Platinum

The newest addition to UCLA’s Anderson School of Management since 1995, the $80-million Marion Anderson Center is a 64,000 SF, 4-story student “lifecycle” complex designed to support the needs of students, alumni, and visitors at the Anderson School of Business. Featuring “active learning classrooms, auditorium and workspaces, and event and gathering spaces,” the building aims to house everything “from admissions to student affairs, career support to alumni connections.” (UCLA Anderson). The building was awarded ENR California 2020 Best Higher Education project


Mortarr Subscriber: Terreal North America

Pro Team: Duda | Paine Architects, Robert Benson Photography

The Discovery Center is the new heart of the Bullis School—a K-12 academic environment which includes 23 classrooms, a studio theater, Makerspace and Fabrication Lab, and Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship. It also features an aquatic sciences lab, student center and 1930 Grille, and digital media lab.


Mortarr Subscriber: Bendheim

Pro Team: Steven Holl Architects, Casali Group, Harvey Marshall Berling Associates, Knipper Helbig Advanced Engineering, National Enclosure Co., Glasfabrik Lamberts, Paul Warchol

The three-story, 33,000-square-foot building curves in both plan and section, responding to several large historic trees on the site. Eight helically-curved, double-glazed channel glass walls by Bendheim clad the building’s 2nd and Mezzanine levels and define its celebrated “box-kite” shape.


Mortarr Subscriber: Giroux Glass Inc.

Pro Team: Ferrari Images, Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects, McCarthy Building Group, Trex Commercial Products

Certifications: LEED Silver

Half a century ago, University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) — then a little known school in the desert —established a small program known as the College of Hotel Administration. In the decades that followed, this niche department would grow not only to become the university’s flagship program, but one of the top-ranked hospitality colleges in the world. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in 2018, the department received a major facility upgrade, and a new name to match. Now known as the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, the program resides in a brand new, state-of-the-art academic building set at the center of the school’s main campus.


Mortarr Subscriber: Fluxwerx

Pro Team: Ratcliff Architects, O’Mahony & Myer Electrical Engineering & Lighting Design, David Wakely Photography

Opened in November 2019, Jean Hofmann Centre for Innovaton is a two-story, 17,500 sf a modern learning centre that is part of Carondelet High School. The new building holds eight studio classrooms—or “innovation learning labs”—each with sliding glass partitions which allow the rooms to change in size and connect with adjacent labs. 


Mortarr Subscriber: CannonDesign

Pro Team: Hensel Phelps

Yazdani Studio, the integrated experimental arm of CannonDesign, has shared a first look at renderings and details of its in-progress Resnick Sustainability Resource Center, an environmental research hub at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena that will be built to express the humanity-bettering work underway within.


Mortarr Subscriber: International Living Future Institute

Pro Team: Mortenson, Farr Associates, dbHMS, Anne Kustner LD, Terra Engineering, Site Design, Stearn Joglekar, Woodhouse Tinucci, APMonarch, WSP USA, Vistara Construction Services

Certifications: Living Building Challenge

The Keller Center revived and re-imagined a mid-century masterpiece by Edward Durell Stone. The building is prominently located on the Midway Plaisance at the University of Chicago’s South Campus. The building is an example of the New Formalism architectural style, developed from the International Style prevalent in the 1960s. It is characterized by classicism, strict symmetry, and decorative elements. A sensitive transformation of the building has retained and celebrated Stone’s signature design—slender encircling columns, projecting perforated canopy, and limestone façade with decorative tracery. New passages erode the monumental plinth with terraced landscape to better connect with adjacent academic facilities and provide a fully accessible pedestrian experience. Glass insertions through the limestone façade at key entry points create a more visible, welcoming entrance. Inside at the heart of the Keller Center is a sun-streaked 4-story atrium that was carved into the building to connect all levels and provide Harris with a venue for public policy and social impact.


Mortarr Subscriber: Bendheim

Pro Team: BNIM Architects, JEDUNN Construction, JPI Glass, Nick Merrick

The new Johnson County Community College Fine Arts and Design Studio is enveloped in a customized ventilated glass facade by Bendheim. The 170-foot-wide facade features our Lumi Frit™ Surface 1 fritted glass. It acts as a screen that filters soft, glare-free daylight into the studios through second-story windows, while creating a brilliant white aesthetic during the day. The glass reflects sunlight to a shimmering white effect. According to John Collier, Associate Principal at BNIM, “instead of being in the shadow, it actually glows… it becomes a lighting element on the north face of the building, which would normally be in the shadow.” The design harnesses the incandescent qualities of the glass to activate the adjacent lawn and turn it into an outdoor space for informal student gatherings, study, and reflection. It is also designed so that it can eventually double as a projection surface for student art.


Mortarr Subscriber: Fluxwerx

Pro Team: KPMB Architects, Public Architecture + Communication, AES Engineering, Latreille Architectural Photography

Certifications: LEED Gold

Designed by KPMB Architects and Public Architecture + Communication, the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is a modern post-and-beam wood structure with steel decking on a concrete raft slab, compared to a ship by the architects. Located in Richmond, BC, Canada, the facility was set to become a preeminent school for technical fashion design industry on the West Coast.  The design of the 60,000 sq ft design school fosters interdisciplinary collaboration by positioning flexible design studios, labs, open offices and shared spaces across all five floors. Housing six faculties—graphic 
design, fashion design, product design, technical apparel design, fashion marketing, and interior design—under a single roof, it is a true melting pot of everything creative.

Looking for even more education project ideas? Head to and explore education design inspiration, products, and pros.

bottom of page