Forest Elementary School

Crystal, Minnesota

In replacing an asbestos-contaminated building, Robbinsdale School District asked that the new Forest Elementary School be innovative, cost-effective and high-performance. Interior design is an integral part of the interdisciplinary approach used to achieve these goals.

Thematic elements, including color and dynamic geometric shapes, were used to organize and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMKarges-Faulconbridge, Inc.COST PER SQ FT$150.49CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN2006 Educational Interiors2006 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas interior spaces. Curved walls and canopy structures identify activity zones. Multi-colored directional floor and wall patterns help young students with wayfinding.

Included in an energy-savings strategy is the abundant use of fenestration to make maximum use of natural light. High-set square windows perforate interior and exterior walls, bringing daylight deep into the interiors. Skylights illuminate the media center and main corridor. Non-porous surfaces such as terrazzo and burnished block help with maintenance efficiency.

At the heart of the centrally situated media center is a sculptural “Tree of Learning” that serves as an icon of the school’s “forest” identity.

“Excellent use of building materials to minimize maintenance costs. A nice way to wed common areas into instructional spaces.”--2006 jury