Whittier Elementary School for the Arts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The planning of an urban learning environment focuses on many challenges. The issues of context, new curriculum, technology, site and the multitude of other issues calls for innovation and a fresh paradigm for learning.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the quality of a design is the character of the resulting space. In the design for Whittier Elementary School ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY825COST PER SQ FT$171.29CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN1999 Educational Interiors1999 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers the Arts, the architect addressed the following criteria: light, color, quality of materials, technology and context.

The library was built with the neighborhood in mind. It is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also technically up to speed. Any library should connect people with information via the most effective technology available.

The planning process included numerous meetings with the neighborhood in the development of education, media and meeting spaces for neighborhood use.

Architecturally, the new school was to respond to adjacent residential character and scale. Thus, the design incorporated many elements that reinforced the building as part of the urban fabric and neighborhood focus.

Photographer: ©Don Wong Photography

"The reading kiva is truly special...it would be a memorable place for children."—1999 jury