The Harvey Schools

Houston, Texas


Houston ISD


111,823 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and left a devastating mark on nearly everything it touched. In four days, 100- and 500-year flood maps were rendered obsolete. The floodwaters had barely receded when Houston ISD determined that four neighborhood schools had to be razed and rebuilt: Braeburn, Kolter, Mitchell, and Scarborough—aka the “Harvey Schools.”

District program requirements called for extensive flexibility to accommodate evolving pedagogies and multiple approaches to education delivery. The district also needed a compact, scalable design with a price tag it could afford.

The design team had to address regulations that did not yet exist and would change, sometimes daily. The concept has classrooms hugging the perimeter of the building, providing daylight and views of the outdoors. The internal circulation creates space for various learning activities and includes an integrated, decentralized library, next-generation collaboration spaces, and individual reading nooks. Within three months, the resulting design was simultaneously sketched onto the four sites and submitted to the city for review, and three months later, construction began.

Additional Information

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