Margaret T. Smith Elementary School

Forney, Texas

  • FIRM

    WRA Architects, Inc.

  • CLIENT

    Forney Independent School District

  • AREA

    75,300 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $10,899,077.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    6/2008

Aside from the requirements of curriculum, technology and safety, the ambition for Smith was to create a stimulating environment that aggressively conserved energy.

The design revolves around a wide central corridor that provides a bright, open and airy atmosphere to help orient the kids in a visually exciting way. One ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY650COST PER SQ FT$144.68FEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio is a long, gently curved wall behind which are the common areas—library, computer labs, gymnasium, cafetorium—and above which are clerestory windows that bring daylight into the interior. The arc of the curve enables the entire corridor to be supervised by one person, yet without the appearance of a very long hallway. As a person progresses down the corridor, the curve gradually reveals the variety of visual surprises.

A low roofline and compact footprint minimize building envelope and building volume, significantly reducing the load on heating and air conditioning. Daylighting is provided to every instructional space in the school—even interior classrooms—reducing the amount of artificial lighting needed. Light fixtures have motion sensors, automatically turning off when not in use, further reducing electrical demand.