Rhein Benninghoven Elementary School

Shawnee, Kansas

  • FIRM

    ACI Boland Architects


    Shawnee Mission School District

  • AREA

    4,413 sq.ft.





A dministrators at Rhein Benninghoven Elementary School prioritized openness for their new facility, even though site constraints necessitated a two-story building. The design team answered with a central core that invites natural light, provides a sense of transparency and offers spaces for collaboration.
A grand staircase connects the floors with an openness that ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$234.00FEATURED IN2018 Educational Interiors ShowcaseINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas optimal sightlines for observation and security. Clerestory windows perforate the spaces above the staircase, flooding the building with high-quality natural light. Reclaimed ash wood on the staircase and walls enlivens the interior, lending warmth and character.
The space plan places collaboration spaces around the media center, then fans out to classrooms and other educational spaces. The separation between the two areas minimizes noise and ensures the collaboration spaces are available to all—not just a specific classroom.
The media center is open to the clerestory windows, providing a bright environment for connection. Movable glass walls between the media center and cafeteria exponentially increase the flexibility of both areas. Differentiated spaces allow for interactive learning, team teaching, resource sharing and video production.