Pasco County Schools, Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation

A radical new approach to fueling innovation and economic investment

Kirkland Ranch Academy Exterior
The modern architecture, open-air circulation and contemporary identity of Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation make it a shining example of progressive architecture.

Client
Pasco County Schools
Location
Wesley Chapel, Florida, United States
Size
180,000 square feet
Status
Completed 2022

Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation (KRAI) was designed to be a vessel of impact for students and the local economy. Focusing on Career and Technical Education (CTE), the school offers hands-on, interactive learning that teaches skills more than theory—arming students with the competencies needed to successfully transition from high school to careers, or into college and beyond. Showcasing strategic siting and stunning architecture, the project features various internal and external spaces engineered to foster community, collaboration and safety.

Krai 6
All circulation unfolds in an open-air interior courtyard; bridges, stairways, seating and informal gathering areas are threaded throughout the building to prompt incidental meetings, gatherings and connections. As a bonus, the courtyard was designed to capitalize on local wind patterns, making the school cool (in the literal sense), too.

Testimonials

  • This not going to look like anything you’ve ever seen before. This is going to be a cool school.

    Dr. Kim Moore Assistant Superintendent, Pasco County Schools
Krai 12
Krai 13

An unrivaled educational experience

What distinguishes KRAI from other high schools is the impact it will have on students and their future career prospects. As a standalone, purpose-built CTE and comprehensive high school, it offers students direct pathways into careers ranging from digital technology and engineering to biomedical science, cyber security, building construction, robotics and more.

With the capacity to serve 1,000 students, the school’s integrated curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities provide students with the skillsets needed to graduate with an industry certification and secure a high-paying job. 

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One of the most prominent spaces in the building is the two-story collaboration hub. The hub features flexible furniture to support large gatherings and smaller-scale collaboration between students and outside partners.

Testimonials

  • These spaces are a playground for innovation. They feature the resources our students need to take what they’re learning and practically apply it. These are malleable spaces, too, capable of evolving and changing as career demands evolve.

    Dr. Kim Moore Assistant Superintendent, Pasco County Schools

The thoughtful design of the building maximizes the area’s warm climate and natural winds. Oriented in the east-west direction, which is the primary wind direction throughout the year in the area, the building’s courtyard can be cooled by natural ventilation as much as possible. All of the exterior walkways—there are no internal corridors—shade the glass of the building to keep interior temperatures comfortable. 

Kirkland Ranch
The modern architecture and dramatic entry canopy—hovering atop two simple columns—is a technical achievement and a nod to the building sciences field, one of the areas of study in the school.

New school, new identity

KRAI is not only a new school building, it's also a concept born from a new idea. This uniqueness allowed our team to deliver an array of original elements, including the school's brand and visual identity. Drawing inspiration from the school's schematic design, curriculum and the surrounding environment of the Florida wetlands, our graphics team designed an original logo, typography, color palette and brand guidelines to create a sense of belonging, openness and unity.

Kra Webvisuals Logo
The school's icon uses a structural grid from the building's footprint and features a "pathway" icon inspired by the vibrant courtyard. This continuous path is the primary visual language also used in supporting elements, such as signage and merchandise.
Kra Webvisuals Guidelines
Comprehensive visual identity guidelines give Kirkland Ranch Academy a flexible framework to develop brand materials.
Kra Webvisuals Color
Colors in the visual identity palette are drawn from the environment, connecting students to their surroundings and honoring the site's legacy.
Kra Webvisuals Tote
Unique icons for each career-tech department were designed using the Connected Pathway shape as a flexible container.
Kra Webvisuals Badges
The pathway shape becomes an individual symbol and grows in complexity as student progress through the curriculum.