Eagle Creek Academy

Oakland, Michigan

  • FIRM

    French Associates


    Eagle Creek Academy

  • AREA

    56,000 sq.ft.





Set within a 20-acre picturesque site on the edge of a wetland preserve, Eagle Creek Academy creates the opportunity to enhance the educational setting with nature. This facility emphasizes the site’s natural features through material selection and unobtrusive site planning. Incorporating natural lighting and heating/cooling systems (geothermal wells in the earth ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$196.43CITATIONCrow Island School CitationFEATURED IN2006 Educational Interiors2006 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYClassrooms the parking areas provide energy-efficient means of providing building comfort), the 240-student K-8 school has become an extension of its adjacent wetland neighbor. Only a meandering line of birdhouses defines the edge between the wetland and the built environment.

The classrooms at Eagle Creek are designed to promote hands-on learning and interaction among students (and their surroundings). An outdoor deck runs continuously across the back of the classrooms along the wetland. Each classroom has a view of the wetland and direct access to the deck, emphasizing the educational opportunities offered by nature.

However, function was not overlooked. Each classroom has its own storage zone (for students and teachers), kitchenette, student workstations, document cameras and large plasma monitors. The cafeteria, gymnasium and media center support after-hour activities as well as the school day requirements.

The media center’s form and timber structure are the focal point of the exterior design and the main entrance; the transparent enclosure, trunk-like wood columns and wood trusses establish Eagle Creek’s unique architectural qualities. The building envelope is of stone and wood siding, featuring large expanses of glass that maximize daylight and views. The most striking interior features at Eagle Creek are the open, volumes of space and emphasis on natural elements. Exposed wood roof decks supported by laminated timber trusses are featured in every classroom, as well as in the gymnasium, cafeteria and media center.

“Bright, airy, energy-efficient. Welcoming and inviting. Appears to be a great place to learn and teach. Great approach!”--2006 EIS jury

"Masterful integration of the school with its surroundings. An easy school to maintain."--2006 AP jury