Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics

Lake Highland Preparatory School

Lake Highland Preparatory School’s Porter Center for Innovation & Academics, exclusively for Upper School students, exemplifies the school’s vision to provide an elevated educational experience. The private campus embraces advanced technology and is situated to blend with the natural beauty and ecology of Lake Highland. The design enhances LHPS’s commitment to fostering a deep appreciation for nature and creating meaningful connections between students and their environment.

A large outdoor space, created by the elevated bridge between the library and administration, is used for outdoor learning and visually connects to the natural landscape of Lake Highland.
At the core of the project is the Innovation Institute, a collection of specialized labs designed to foster transparency and collaboration among students. These purpose-built facilities empower students to generate ideas, conduct experiments, and explore new possibilities. Complemented by versatile learning studios, robotics center, maker spaces, and shared areas, the Innovation Hub fosters engagement, an entrepreneurial spirit, and curiosity—the key ingredients for student success.
The Innovation Institute is a bold and progressive hub with robotics, and maker spaces flanked with learning studios and unobstructed lake views.
“Lake Highland's idea for the Innovation Institute encouraged us to find a solution that would put this unique program at the heart of the project. The elevated ‘bridge’ is a platform for discovery that is expandable to cross-fertilize between varying subjects, such as robotics, engineering, physics and science.”
Ekta P. Desai, AIA, Partner / Design Lead
A learning stair in the library builds teamwork and socialization and overlooks the exterior patio.
The exceptional design of the academic space at the Center for Innovation is built upon the foundation of the site's landscape, harnessing its capacity, and optimizing available resources. By integrating nature into the learning environment, the design sparks a sense of awe and fosters a profound connection with the outside world. With a strong emphasis on collaborative exploration, the Center for Innovation empowers students to unlock their potential and embrace a range of opportunities. It serves as a catalyst for innovation and growth, providing a transformative space where students can thrive and reach their full potential.
“Designing this new building gave us an opportunity to collaborate with students, parents and educators to incorporate their ideas into the academic building through modern design principles.”
David Torbert, AIA, Partner
The four story Porter Center replaces two existing structures from 1950. The orientation and placement of the building creates a new edge with a modern interpretation of the traditional Georgian aesthetic to symbolize the shift of the academics occurring inside.