Project Type: Education

Freedom Prep Academy

Founded in 2009 with five existing schools in Memphis, Tennessee, Freedom Preparatory Academy is opening its first tuition-free public charter school in Birmingham.

The school’s vision is to transform the lives of Black and brown students across the South by preparing kids in pre-k through the 12th grade to excel in college and in life.

We are currently renovating the former Our Lady of Fatima School building, originally part of the oldest African-American Catholic Church in the Birmingham Catholic Diocese, to house the new Freedom Prep Academy campus opening in Fall 2024.

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UAB Early Learning Center

Operated by the university to offer employees safe, high-quality, and convenient on-campus childcare, UAB’s new Early Learning Center was designed to accommodate over 200 children, which doubled the capacity of the previous facility.

The Early Learning Center includes 18,407 square feet of classroom and operational space and a 9,700-square-foot outdoor playground.

Centered around the outdoor playground and indoor play area, the design includes separate spaces for infant, toddler, and preschool age children.

The design of the indoor play area was inspired by a treehouse. A hollow, elevated area representing a tree trunk provides children a place to sit and look out to the activity on the outdoor playground.

Hanging acoustic panels represent the leaves of the tree and clouds. These panels soften the space, add color, and dampen the sound in this area.

Turf hills, ropes, and various hand and foot holds encourage safe climbing.

Nestled between the arms of the building, the outdoor playground is the heart of the facility.

The space is divided into two main play areas to accommodate different age groups and features shade structures throughout.

Surrounded by views from various classrooms and the indoor play area, the playground feels connected to the whole building.

The location of the playground creates a sense of activity throughout the building and allows for constant adult supervision.

Design decisions in the classrooms, including the custom wall graphics, were catered to each age group.

In the older classrooms, child-size bathroom stalls and hand washing stations give children a sense of independence while remaining in view of the teacher.

Additional amenities such as a car seat storage room, break room, and a wellness room provide spaces catered to support parents and staff.

Investing in this new facility and offering UAB faculty and staff discounted childcare reflects the university’s dedication to supporting a positive work-life balance and commitment to the personal and professional success of its employees.

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16th Street Baptist Church Visitor Center

The multipurpose visitor and education center will be located adjacent to the existing parsonage and sanctuary buildings.

The new 13,000 SF building will include meeting rooms, a dining area, a commercial kitchen, and support space to enhance the historic parish’s ability to receive visitors.

The design honors, respects, and complements the historic 16th Street Baptist Church and aims to fill the needs of the Civil Rights District moving forward.

“This new building addition will symbolize the movement from ‘a dark past’ to a new light of hope and vision for the entire community. We are committed to preserving this important legacy and continuing the fight for social justice and equality for all people.” 

Rev. Arthur Price, Jr., pastor of the 16th Street Baptist Church 

Learn more about the 16th Street Baptist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument.

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Northeast YMCA

From the YMCA Youth Center and Hoover YMCA to the Northeast YMCA, we are proud of our work in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Birmingham.

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is partnering with Habitat for Humanity and Christ Health Center on a transformational project for the Roebuck community. The project will include a renovation of the Northeast YMCA, 22 new single-family homes, and a pediatric health facility.

The renovation of the Northeast YMCA will transform the facility into a true community resource center. When complete, the Northeast YMCA will provide two early learning pre-K classrooms, academic and development programming for youth and teens, activities for seniors, two community gardens, and a multi-purpose sports field.

Single-family homes built by Habitat for Humanity will be built on the land surrounding the Northeast YMCA and create a purpose-built, walkable neighborhood.

Christ Health Center’s world-class pediatric care facility will address health inequities in children from low-to-moderate income households, provide health and wellness education, and provide access to diagnostic equipment, dental care, and pharmacy.

From the YMCA Youth Center and Hoover YMCA to the Northeast YMCA, we are proud of our work in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Birmingham.

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UAB Volker Hall 6th Floor

UAB School of Medicine’s newest facilities in Volker Hall feature faculty offices, small group collaborative learning spaces, and a student lounge.

Glazing was used throughout the floor to take full advantage of natural daylighting and city views.

The project blends a refined commercial interior aesthetic with the building’s original brick and concrete structure.

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Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School

AAHS will provide a free public education for 9th–12th graders hoping to pursue aerospace and aviation careers. It will offer an industry-aligned, career-focused educational experience designed to prepare students for college and career success. Open enrollment and hiring are in progress as the school prepares to open its doors in August 2022.

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Magic City Acceptance Academy

Magic City Acceptance Academy is a new charter school in Homewood, Alabama that provides an LGBTQ-inclusive and affirming learning environment for 400 students in grades 6-12.

Our team worked with the users, developer, general contractor, Magic City Acceptance Center, and Birmingham Aids Outreach to design an innovative, efficient school and a new tornado shelter/multi-purpose building in record time.

  • LocationHomewood, Alabama
  • Project Type
  • Award 2023 Best of Education (K–12), International Interior Design Association

The renovation of this former office building included a full interior renovation, refreshing the exterior, and a new entry vestibule that provides a layer of security and a place for visitors to check in.

The waiting room wall and furniture continue the purple from the exterior and set the tone for the school’s colorful interior.

Upon entry, the open rainbow stair is the school’s central vertical circulation and a symbol of support for the LGBTQ community

A gradation of accent colors in the corridors matching the steps of the main stair add visual interest and provide wayfinding on each floor. Large windows looking into the classrooms add visibility and security.

Classrooms are open and flexible, allowing educators to set them up to suit their needs. Large windows flood the space with natural light that flows from the classrooms to the corridors.

MCAA’s mission is to facilitate a community in which all learners are empowered to embrace education.

In the open space between classrooms, the library provides a central location for students to read or study outside of classes.

The design includes semi-private and private nurse stations as well as gender-neutral, single-occupancy restrooms, a shower, a laundry room, and a sensory room.

Guided by MCAA’s mission and vision, this space is designed to be welcoming, flexible, and empowering.

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