Irving Elementary School (Sioux City, Iowa)

Sioux City, Iowa

This elementary school building, designed around a community concept, focuses on educational pods that are analogous to neighborhoods. Each neighborhood square is naturally lighted with clerestories and takes advantage of unique colors to enhance wayfinding and community identification.

Circulation areas are similar to streets. Distinctive floor patterns and ceiling ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$109.43CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2007 Educational Interiors2007 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas create memorable nodes at key intersections to enhance wayfinding.

Common-use spaces are centralized comparable to a downtown, and the administrative offices serve as an adjoining government center. These centralized spaces reduce travel distances and allow for nighttime use while securing the remaining school.

Natural light, colorful vibrant interiors, wayfinding and limiting travel distance were all priorities in this community concept.

The district and the community combined land from an abandoned middle school and an underutilized park. The site was limited on the west side because of an existing urban property that could not be acquired cost-effectively. The result is a highly functional new school for a low-income population.

"Playful use of color and shape. Bold and bright.”--2007 jury