Project File: Commons area resembles town square

The centralized 31,000-square-foot commons area at Anchor Bay High School, New Baltimore, Mich., serves as a town square, socialization space and dining facility for students. It also is used as a lobby for the school's auditorium and gymnasium.

The space was designed to provide easy access to the academic wings, performing-arts areas and gymnasium. Running the entire length of the school from north to south, the commons encourages quick travel time between areas and provides views into all areas of the school. A large overhead skylight floods the common area with natural light.

The commons features a clock that measures 11 feet in diameter. A main focal point of the commons area is an anchor and compass logo floor design. Made from porcelain and ceramic tile, the logo recalls the history of sailing, which is embedded in the community's history.

The 402,000-square-foot school is on a 100-acre site and is designed to accommodate 1,800 students, with the capacity to expand to 2,400 students. The academic classrooms are organized into four smaller communities, each of which can accommodate up to 600 students.

The architect for this project is TMP Architecture (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.).

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