Dolphin Terrace Elementary School, New Library Addition

El Paso, Texas

The library at Dolphin Terrace Elementary School was designed with the concept of “education as an adventure.” The main element in the design is a rotunda that houses a renovated sailboat, giving thought to the idea that through reading, students can sail or travel anywhere. The nautical concept was carried through into the design of the bookshelves with their rope pier ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$85.00FEATURED IN2000 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers and the circulation desk in the form of a ship’s hull.

Structural elements are exposed in certain areas to give the feeling of a boat storage building. A small classroom was part of the program and appears as a floating cylinder, which allows the handicapped-accessible ramp to wind behind. Using the ramp adds to the project’s adventure and sense of discovery.

Niches throughout the space have been used by staff for placement of model lighthouses. At night, the sailboat can be seen by the community and gives the impression of being a ship in a bottle.

Photographer: ©David Sabal Photography