The PAC addition to I.M. Pei’s original building at Parish Episcopal School was inspired by the interior daylighting design of the existing main building hallway, which redirects clerestory sunlight via a long curved soffit, delivering soft daylight. In the same spirit, the precast panels of the addition block the direct exposure from the east and gently introduce daylight to the pre-function area. At night, it has the reverse effect, spilling interior light via each adjacent precast panel. The rhythmic composition prepares attendees for the music within.

Inside, the overlapping panels are revealed as student study pods. Vertical linear slots do double duty – providing the effect as seen from the exterior and task light for the interior. Most evenings these are filled with students waiting for their siblings to complete music or theatre after-school programs.

The pre-function space is also a large display gallery for the student visual arts program. Track heads were selected for best output and coverage for this high-ceiling and unique geometry, and are tucked into ceiling slots and along the angled ceiling surfaces.

The lobby vertical pendants, arranged in a musical score pattern, provide playful notes within this two-story volume and can be seen on the approach to the building, another of the three slender vertical motifs in this design.

The canopy defines the protective waiting area for kids as they wait for parental pickup. As protective and heavy as this is, it is designed to float within the upper and lower glazing (sorry, photographs to not truly show this aspect.) A linear slot traces near the outline of this form seeming to pass through the glazing and connect exterior to interior.

The corridor that connects this new Arts area to the main building is punctuated with thin vertical windows, the third underscoring of this motif. Inside, linear slots align with every other window, while an adjustable accent sits just inside each window, directed out onto the ground plane, to reveal slices of what is within, to the community without.


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