Flint Hill Upper School, Student Commons

Oakton, Virginia

  • FIRM

    Chatelain Architects


    Flint Hill School

  • AREA

    133,000 sq.ft.





Flint Hill’s existing campus was cramped and did not provide places for the social interactions important to high school students. The school’s main design goal for its new upper school campus was to create a student common space that encouraged student interaction, but did not disrupt academic settings.

To accomplish this, the new building was organized around ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$117.00FEATURED IN2002 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas dramatic, two-story skylighted commons of two linked wedges that are the crossroads for academics, athletics and administration. Student artwork is featured on the second level but is visible from the entrance, encouraging visitors to explore the building. The student commons serves as a major gathering point, but can be monitored passively because it also serves as circulation. The area is flooded with natural light and is a refreshing setting between classes. Twelve-foot-wide purple and blue linoleum stripes break up the uninterrupted run of flooring set perpendicular to the gym, not the main building. Custom-made copper platforms serve as casual gathering spaces for larger groups, and cafe tables accommodate individual and small-group study.

Daylighting helps foster student health and performance, while low-VOC paint, linoleum flooring, formaldehyde-free substrates and proper ventilation help ensure indoor air quality and comfort.