Unity Elementary School

Sioux City, Iowa

Schools often are nostalgic brick boxes designed by adults for adults. This school was designed for imaginative children who are not confined by straight lines and dull colors. It features a variety of shapes, colors, materials and textures. The core spaces were designed for anticipated expansion.

A cooperative community effort involving the school district and the ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$102.00CITATIONBronze CitationFEATURED IN2009 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas (which participated in the cost and planning) was required. Coordination with the district, city, civil engineers, architects, adjoining property owners, and separate site and building contractors had to be orchestrated carefully to meet schedules and co-occupy the same site.

The colors, shapes and textures of the various materials not only gave the building a unique look, but also lowered costs and enhanced the speed of construction. Comparative schools built simultaneously in the district cost 25 percent more and had construction periods three to four months longer.

“An inspiring, inviting space for students.”--2009 jury