Who better to teach a course on architecture to Eagle Rock School students than one of the people who was part of the original team of architects that designed our 640-acre campus back in the early 1990s? Noted architect Jeff Winston has returned to Eagle Rock to co-instruct Architecture — a class which explores the spaces in which we spend our days and how these architectural areas define many aspects of our lives.
Winston is a member of MIG, a planning, design, communications and management services firm with offices in many cities across the United States. With two decades of architectural expertise, Winston is currently the principal director of MIG’s Colorado office.
Harboring a special interest in the design and function of urban spaces, Winston has designed plazas, malls and streetscapes, along with developing design guidelines for public spaces and entire communities. He has taught at the University of Colorado, is a registered landscape architect in Colorado, Utah and Arizona, and holds masters degrees in architecture and landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
His firm’s shared architectural vision for the Eagle Rock campus more than a quarter century ago was based on a “spirit of space,” encompassing a community situated on a mountainside, centered around a lodge, where meals are shared, classes are taught, and education is pursued in a thriving educational and residential atmosphere.
Working in tandem with Barrett Studios, MIG architects helps to develop a pedestrian friendly campus with a minimum of buildings in order to emphasize the pristine setting. They resolved environmental concerns by installing passive solar systems, photovoltaics and high insulation, and they designed structures that were low profile and capable of blending seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness.
The result is a campus that, to this day, provides a true sense and spirit of space. Students enjoy the freedom of living in a secure environment and experience a real connection to nature on a daily basis, while staff members boast about the bucolic environment in which they work.
Not a bit surprising is how we continue to walk our experiential education talk by bringing Winston back to campus to support some of the objectives found in Vision 2020 — our organization’s strategic plan — and more specifically, our mission-driven operations.
We’re most grateful for the partnership we share with MIG, and for what visionaries such as Jeff have done for our community. And we admire the fact that they’re willing to go into the classroom and make a primary stakeholder — our Eagle Rock students — a big part of the experience.
Also not surprising is the fact that the Eagle Rock students Jeff is working with are excited to learn from one of the school’s original contributors, sitting in structures that were influenced by the teacher. In addition to learning about the form and function of space, they are beginning to understand the notion that creativity, mathematics and intentional design enables them to create spaces that enhance the lives of the people who will eventually utilize those places.
This second half of the trimester class will conclude with Winston’s students putting their newfound knowledge to practical use by utilizing a portion of the school’s budget to plan, design and make some additions and changes to the campus infrastructure.
In one way, that’s a good example of a master plan coming full circle.