The commons areas are the keys to the design of Woodland Elementary School. The Avondale School District desired shared alcove areas outside every classroom, to be used for informal gatherings, group activities, individual one-on-one tutoring or team teaching.
A classroom “neighborhood” is comprised of four classrooms and a shared common area. The CAPACITY825COST PER SQ FT$113.00CITATIONGold CitationFEATURED IN1999 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas plan is based on two perpendicular axes. The classroom corridor bisects the shared facilities, such as the media center, cafeteria, gym and specialty classrooms. Each of the four classroom neighborhoods flanks the classroom corridor and is separated by colorful, small-scaled display cases topped with gables along the facades.
A skylight caps the rotunda that punctuates the intersection of the two axes. The rotunda features a marble tile floor with an inlayed compass pattern. The color and playful shapes of the commons areas, including the alcoves, corridors and rotunda, make this lower elementary school a storybook fantasy.
Photographer: ©Hedrich-Blessing Photography
"The building speaks of children. It is welcoming and playful, but ordered."—1999 jury