Charging Up The Learning Environment
Based in and around Houston, Texas, San Jacinto College has a history of using innovative methods to support student success. In the renovation of two of its libraries, the college sought to infuse the buildings with this same energy and support. Designed by Gensler Houston renovations were certainly needed to update systems and infrastructure, but more than that, they were needed to create “a new experience of the learning commons.” San Jacinto wanted libraries that provided not just tools for academic success but also places for students to gather and be inspired and energized toward reaching their goals.
Gensler used bold colors and innovative graphic elements to define different areas and spark curiosity. What better way to help visualize this concept than to use our State of Mind Collection. The floor design employs the style’s linear energy to guide students into and through the libraries, while changes in pattern and color delineate spaces and assist with wayfinding. The carpet’s acoustic properties provide privacy for small group work by reducing noise and distraction in the libraries’ large, open areas. The vibrant color and permanent, inherent stain protection provided by our Duracolor fiber will preserve the inviting appearance of the libraries for future students. In design and performance, Gensler designer Theodora Batchvarova notes, “We, as well as the client, have been very happy with the carpet and will be using it on a third library for San Jacinto College.”
So, what is the impact on learning? Since the renovations, Batchvarova says, “The library has become a favorite gathering and studying place for the students.” These new learning commons are packed with resources for academic growth and areas for students to work independently or together. The libraries serve to foster a community of support and motivation for San Jacinto’s students. Toward this point, Batchvarova shares what one student wrote on a library whiteboard—“This is a home, not a school.”