Unity Elementary

Sioux City, Iowa

Many schools are nostalgic brick boxes designed by adults for adults. This school was designed for imaginative children not confined by straight lines and monochromatic colors. It features a variety of shapes, colors, materials and textures. The core spaces were designed to accommodate future expansion.

A cooperative community effort involving ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY567COST PER SQ FT$102.00CITATIONElementary School CitationFEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio school district and the city (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 was orchestrated to meet schedules and co-occupy the 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.

"Dynamic use of colors, shapes and forms enhance the learning environment. A cooperative community effort was used to help offset the cost and assist in the planning."--2009 jury