2014 Committee on Architecture for Education Design Excellence Award
Wilkes Elementary School was designed to support dynamic styles of teaching and learning. Classrooms are located at the heart and linked on each end, providing a circulation pattern that prevents both the feeling and effect of isolation. Clusters of classrooms break down the scale and create four intimate learning communities.
This arrangement also fosters collaboration and connectivity, and creates opportunities for variation in scales of learning - from multi-classroom gatherings, to intimate individual experiences. Wilkes addresses the needs of the whole child, so that powerful learning happens everywhere.
This is a stunning, beautifully designed school that creates safe, interactive and warm settings for small group learning. The siting, massing and floor to ceiling glazing along the passageways weaves indoor and outdoor spaces together while allowing the slope of the land to flow under glazed connector bridges and through a series of semi-natural courtyards. The clearly articulated classroom clusters are grouped around shared resource centers that comfortable and lived in. Built in window seats and circular skylights create an intimate setting for children. Wood is a prevalent material that brings warmth and intimacy throughout the learning spaces. Thoughtfully scaled and pedagogically conscious, this project exemplifies the consistently high quality of education design coming from the Pacific Northwest that the jury saw this year.
#design #Excellence #Jury #award #CAE