Commissioned by the Auburn Washburn Board of Education to design Elementary School No. 7 for the district, the design team was charged with providing a space for 600 K-6 students and 120 early-childhood and special-education students that encouraged creativity, improved student performance and improved building performance, without being overwhelming in CAPACITY720COST PER SQ FT$196.00FEATURED IN2011 Architectural Portfolio or scale.
The solution needed to create positive learning environments through quality of space and building community. Taking advantage of known positive outcome studies for air quality, daylighting, color, texture and materials, and using them to provide a secure, environmentally responsible environment were paramount to the success of the building operationally and, more important, educationally.
The solution breaks the building down into smaller areas of specific uses to help manage the scale of the building. Instead of simply providing corridors to these areas, the design is intended to encourage the education program to create journeys to places where students can interact with the larger community while engaging in cognitive activities, education activities and social growth. The solution also provides creative and unique spaces at the room scale, utilizing shapes, color, materials, daylight, media and thermal comfort to provide a creative learning environment.