Gary Comer College Prep

Interior Architecture Award Submission

The interior architecture and graphics of this college prep charter high school not only reflect, but shape, its culture. Glass walls between the hallway and classrooms reinforce the school’s philosophy of transparency and accountability, for students and teachers alike. Extensive skylights on the building interior bring abundant natural light into the hallways, and indirectly into the classroom through glass corridor walls; providing each classroom with daylight from two sides. A recessed second floor lets natural light penetrate to ground level.
Synthetic-cork walls in a variety of colors wrap the classroom entries, allowing each teacher to customize their classroom and publicly display student work and events. This colored material is keyed to the carpet tiles on the floor, making each classroom unique and identifiable. Inside the classroom, mark-able wall covering on the teaching wall up to a height of 8 feet maximizes the utility of the wall as a teaching surface.
An extensive architect-designed interior graphics package reinforces the school’s ethos and inspires students to academic achievement. Images of students and African-American achievers (the student population is 99% African-American) were subtly woven into the interior spaces of the school. College crests throughout the interior hallways reinforce the school’s mission.

John Ronan Architects
Comer Science and Education Foundation
  • Goodfriend Magruder Structure LLC
  • Terra Engineering, Ltd.
  • WMA Consulting Engineers, Ltd.
General contractor
Norcon, Inc
Chicago, IL