American School Foundation of Guadalajara

Guadalajara, Mexico


Flansburgh Architects


American School Foundation of Guadalajara


188,400 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Design Team
David Croteau (Principal-in-Charge); Kelley Banks (Project Manager/Architect)

The new high school is a bold and forward-looking approach to serving 1,500 students at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara (ASFG). As surrounding properties grow taller with new development, the seven-story open-air structure follows their lead by doubling ASFG’s academic space, maximizing green space, and providing state-of-the-art facilities that support 21st-century education.

The project’s use of bright colors, sculptural form, natural materials, and crisp design is inspired by Guadalajara’s cultural heritage and rich combination of traditional and modern architecture. Drawing from Mexico’s cortile buildings, courtyards, and public sculptures, the school’s design embraces the city’s architectural history and fosters community identity through themed colors.

The project connects the school to the outdoors, incorporating lush green space and using Guadalajara’s climate in its sustainable design. Plantings are deployed strategically, using water-intensive plants sparingly and placing low-water native plants in secondary garden areas. Sustainability is integrated in all aspects of the building’s design and construction process, focusing on energy-efficient daylighting, solar control, passive cooling, natural ventilation, and durable materials.

The new school includes many flexible academic spaces that support ASFG educational goals and various teaching and learning styles. Indoor classrooms have acoustical wood panels and glass walls, establishing verbal and visual connections between students and faculty both inside and outside the classroom. A new library, maker space, hands-on science lab, tiered presentation area, and collaborative common spaces create an interactive and engaging academic environment. Motivating a sense of freedom and community connection, students reflect, restore, and energize in outdoor classrooms, garden balconies, and rooftop terraces.

The result of the project is a distinctive, location-based learning environment that celebrates its place in a fast-growing city. The modern facility ultimately encourages positive education, community involvement, creativity, and environmental consciousness.

Additional Information

Associated Firm

GVA Arquitectos

Cost per Sq Ft



Special Citation

Featured in

2022 Architectural Portfolio

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