Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center, Arlington, Texas

Photo: Chad M. Davis

To promote collaboration and connection, VLK Architects Inc. emphasized transparency in its design for the Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center. The building features a curtainwall with a repeating pattern of slanted sunshades, storefront systems with wide entrances, metal wall panels and an interior glazed framing system.

Richard Hunt, AIA, LEED AP, project designer at VLK Architects, says, “Collaboration at all levels is the driving force behind the design. Expressive and monumental, the architecture is unique to the neighborhood and city as a whole. The expansive curtainwall, featuring diagonal sunshade fins, serves as a subconscious billboard to passersby—visitors and students understand they are entering an institution of higher learning and not just another run-of-the-mill high school building.”

Pierce Riverside Glass LLC installed Tubelite Inc.’s 400 Series curtainwall and custom MaxBlock slanted sunshades. Also, the company installed Tubelite’s T14000 Series flush-glazed storefront framing with Wide Stile Entrances. The storefront system and curtainwall have Vitro Architectural Glass’s Solarban 60 solar control, low-E glass.

Inside, Pierce Riverside Glass installed Tubelite’s INT45 interior flush glaze framing system. Linetec Inc. finished all of Tubelite’s extruded aluminum framing systems, 75,000 feet, in clear anodize finish.

Kevin Haynes, Tubelite’s architectural specification manager, says, “We worked on this project from conception with VLK and engineered a custom 24-inch vertical sunshade detail that runs the length of the of the 9-inch-deep curtainwall. Not only is the sunshade custom, but is on a slant connecting at the bottom of one vertical curtainwall mull and carries across to the top of the next vertical curtainwall mull.”

The facility is branded with school colors by bright red metal wall panels at entrances. VLK Architects specified three shades of red: Colonial Red and two custom red colors. Vadens Acoustics and Drywall Inc. installed 27,000 square feet of Dri-Design’s anodized aluminum wall panels.

The 169,800-square-foot, two-story Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center serves 2,400 students throughout Arlington Independent School District. They study education programs in 18 specialized academies ranging from culinary arts to robotics.

Hunt says, “All 18 academies surround a central space fronted with glass to maximize transparency. Strolling down this main corridor, one can view students engaging in a variety of skills, from aligning the wheels on a [pickup truck] or programming and operating CNC machines, to students styling hair or conducting TV newscasts.”