Tarkington School of Excellence

Chicago, Illinois

  • FIRM

    OWP/P Architects


    Chicago Public Schools

  • AREA

    134,000 sq.ft.





Pending certification, Tarkington School of Excellence will be Chicago’s first LEED-certified school. This new school shares building space with Chicago Park District’s regional administration office.

The architectural and design component establishes a meaningful connection among the building, its students and the natural environment. Its basis lies in the intent ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$172.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio a flexible and optimistic learning environment, offering the intimacy of tactility, and encouraging sensory thought and participation.

Design strategies include spatial organization and massing to accommodate two distinct clients within one building. The concept maximized glazing for natural light and expansive views, massing highlighting shadow, texture and plasticity, and exterior and interior materials emphasizing natural tones and warmth.

The building program features art, music and science classrooms, a library, kitchen and dining facilities. A fieldhouse and play field are shared by the students, the park district and the community. Design features contributing to this environmentally friendly building include recycled building materials, a planted roof, solar panels and harvested rainwater.