Above: exterior rendering of the NOCCA Forum by John C. Williams Architects
Young, creative and focused energy is about to fill one of the city’s oldest architectural structures. Built in the 1830’s as part of the historic Levee Steam Cotton Press, the sister warehouse to two on NOCCA’s current campus is becoming the NOCCA Forum.
A driving goal of the Forum is to meet the essential physical needs of NOCCA’s newest offerings: 9th – 12th grade academics and Level I-IV Culinary Arts.
To truly succeed, though, the Forum must nourish the Academic Studio and Culinary Arts’ distinct ability to innovate and impact 21st century education.
As in the arts, academic spaces will emphasize the active role of students in the learning process. Overall, studios are designed to facilitate the cross-discipline collaborations critical for connected and meaningful learning.
As also in the arts’ apprenticeship-model, students will have the opportunity to train on industry-standard equipment. Math/Science will have a fabrication studio for hands-on inquiry, robotics and engineering projects. Integrated Humanities will have a project lab to support students’ work presentations, be they 3-D sets or video. Meanwhile, other classrooms will be as flexible as possible, with the ability to adapt to the rapid changes that define our times.
For Culinary Arts, professional training spaces such as a restaurant kitchen, butchery, bakery and café will enrich and intensify the curriculum. The spaces will provide young chefs with the strongest possible foundation and real world experience to lead their own kitchens one day.
And with the café and art gallery open to the public, a Great Hall for events, labs for science workshops for regional students, a home for a teacher institute and space to offer adult culinary classes, everyone will be able to become part of NOCCA when the NOCCA Forum opens in August 2014.
The NOCCA Forum is made possible to date by Chevron, Trafigura Foundation, Goldring and Woldenberg Family Foundations, Zemurray Foundation, Edward G. Schlieder Education Foundation, Ella West Freeman Foundation, Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Selley Foundation, and the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation.
Initially printed in The NOCCA Institute’s July 2013 Aspirations newsletter