The design concept for this project evolved from the transitional development of students aged 4 to 11. This period of physical, mental and social growth calls for a facility that is both familiar and inspiring. The resulting design incorporates these factors, emulates the creative problem solving found with elementary aged students, while keeping the elements necessary for a well-functioning school.
To apply this design approach, HAA referenced the classic education vernacular: a red brick, gabled roof school house. The gabled roof is used for the classroom structures; however the ridge is offset to create a new approach to the classic design. To differentiate from the classroom functions, the support spaces are given a shed roof which conveys a sense of larger scale at the entry structures. Brick is used as the primary exterior material; however an accent brick with a darker color is utilized to present a pattern unique to this facility.
The plan of the new school simultaneously presents simple and intuitive circulation patterns while creating interesting and unexpected views and experiences throughout the building. This is accomplished primarily through the arrangement of the grade pods along an angled central spine. The main circulation spine also delineates the classroom pods from the rest of the school functions, such as the library, music room, administrative offices, and gymnasium. Natural light throughout the building is incorporated to enhance the educational environment.
The result is a design that encourages the creativity of elementary school aged children while providing a comforting, functional facility that responds to the ever changing needs necessary for teaching.