Gowanus Canal

The conceptual approach recognizes the nature of water flow as the precedent of integrating the social behaviors of humans with the architectural parameters of design. By implementing certain objects of resistance within an area of flow, it is possible to experience the natural gathering or dispersion of social groups. 



The Light wells cut through the atrium space and provides natural illumination while control louvers in the double skin system allow outside air to properly recycle the spaces within, drawing hot air upwards in the summer months. 


The open floor plan an natural lighting tactics are designed to create an inviting feel, promoting more student interaction.

Gowanus Canal  Brooklyn, NY

The Center for Active Learning is a neutral educational hub where students and teachers from the surrounding schools are encouraged to interact with one another outside of typical school hours. The open forum is designed to create a more diverse learning environment, enabling students to gain a unique understanding of their subjects in education.

Passive Strategies

The primary atrium space exhibits an interactive stair system which incorporates multiple light wells that offer the space natural lighting while encouraging students to socialize.





A heavy solar influence along the building's south side requires a double skin louver system, controlling solar gain while maximizing natural daylight.

Project by: Steven Berkas

Professor: Mike Everts

Spring 2012