Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School

Kirkland, Washington

  • FIRM

    DLR Group


    Lake Washington School District

  • AREA

    65,306 sq.ft.





A.G. Bell Elementary had an existing forest and wetland, significant slopes and a sprawling campus, so replacing the school posed challenging natural and built constraints. DLR Group’s design restores the fractured site by integrating its unique qualities in a school that meets educational goals, sustainably reduces the cost of ownership and reinforces ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$306.00CITATIONSilver CitationFEATURED IN2015 Educational Interiors ShowcaseINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas connections. Featuring roof canopies and staggered elevations, the building complements nearby vegetation and maximizes daylight through sun shades, light-diffusing glass and deliberate orientation. To leave the surrounding forest intact, the plan required diligent phasing of the occupied site and integration of walking paths to adjacent neighborhoods. Based on two primary circulation axes, A.G. Bell Elementary offers ease of circulation and equal access to shared learning spaces. The new design pays homage to the former school through the reuse of salvaged cedar wood covering the library (seen prominently from the entryway and lobby). With a clear, welcoming entry and adequate space for community and school use, A.G. Bell Elementary is now enabled to serve both its students and community.