The geometry of Chicago’s residential district becomes a challenge for educational facilities. The prototype design of Nobel West Elementary School successfully met this. Serving 950 preschool through eighth-grade students, the design pushes the front edge of the building close to the street.
Innovative planning and sophisticated use of materials combined to form a CAPACITY950COST PER SQ FT$118.75FEATURED IN1998 Architectural Portfolio flexible environment at a moderate cost. Double-loaded corridors depict a standard geometry of ample space. The 30-foot by 40-foot bay allows for 900 or 1,200 square feet of usable area. Flexibility is maximized, and the principal can arrange functions as required.
The library, computer room and administrative areas are pushed another 10 feet to create dramatic interiors.
The closure of Tripp Street to buses and emergency vehicles allowed incorporation of the property across from the school into a park for the school and neighborhood.
Nobel’s exterior recalls the desert colors native to the Hispanic culture that it serves. Entrances to the school are accented in yellow with terra cotta infill and light-blue window frames. These playful colors continue throughout the building.
Photographer: ©Joe Davis