The school, a proposed new 125,000 sf facility for 800 students K–5th grades, is Escambia County School District’s first elementary learning environment whose formal design intent is to embrace 21st century teaching pedagogies.
To provide a 21st century learning environment, we as the architect had to acquire an understanding of what 21st century learning looks like and what that means to our client. We turned to evidence based design research to assist us in validating the program and as a way to strategically align all of our design decisions to reinforce and enhance the overall experience for the children. Items that became critical design elements include the following:
• Maximizing the amount of natural day-lighting into each classroom • Providing technology-enabled learning opportunities
• Creating agile classrooms to respond to any learning mode • Providing an energizing Innovation Center
• Providing proper acoustical control between learning spaces • Providing a safe environment for learning
The building is designed so that all classrooms have a north/south orientation to maximize daylighting opportunities. This orientation also allows for optimized energy savings opportunities that are critical to this client. Each classroom is arranged to provide maximum flexibility for the various teaching modalities and technology is accessible for everyone on any device through high-speed wireless internet access points. The Innovation Center was reimagined as a place of wonder and amazement to draw the student’s attention to the space and to excite them to learn. This is achieved through the configuration of a second floor “makers” space / multipurpose room, lighting, and carefully selected interior colors. The area is a key hub and focus for the interior environment around which all other functions are organized.
Escambia County School District
125,000 sf facility for 800 students