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A learner-centered educational philosophy

Dake Wells Architecture

Brandon Dake and Andrew Wells joined forces in 2004 to form their Dake Wells Architecture practice in Springfield, Missouri. Since then, they have gained solid experience in architecture, interiors and graphics. Their hallmark is a practical, rational problem-solving capability that reaches beyond the banal and mundane. Every project undergoes thorough analysis. The resultant concept is always a one-off, the result of true outside-the-box thinking. Dake Wells’ strictly marshaled, effective approach has been applied to numerous public buildings where the architects called in many skilled professionals from other disciplines key to help identify the real needs of a community and build consensus for a building to be used by many. The Reeds Spring Middle School is one of their most recent projects. True to character, it was conceived in response to the specific conditions of context and provides a clearly understandable, essential program that meets the school’s functional needs. Reeds Spring is a rural community halfway between Springfield, the capital of Illinois, and Table Rock Lake. It is a densely wooded, hilly area where public services and schools are important cultural and civic centers for the whole population. The Middle School is the latest addition to an educational hub featuring several other schools and training centers, all now linked by a new semi-circular ring road connecting the various facilities, including a sports center and a large surface parking lot. The strong geometry of the link road imparts a clear sense of the area’s functional organization, its semicircular form helping to contain the district and make it part of its natural setting. The Middle School is easily recognized for its simple lines that seemed to emerge from the nearby hill. As well as resonating with its hilly wooded surrounds, the program was also required to ensure storm safety in the event of tornadoes, a local weather feature. In order to fit in with...

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