CEFPI Honors School Designs With Project of Distinction Awards

WASHINGTON — The Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) recently announced its Project of Distinction Awards for new construction and Lee J. Brockway Awards for renovations at its annual conference and exposition in September in Indianapolis, Ind. The awards were presented for outstanding planning and inspired architectural design of high quality learning environments to six exceptional projects. The projects demonstrated satisfaction of the intent of their planning process and design responses with regard to the community environment, learning environment and physical environment, according to CEFPI.

Projects of Distinction
Chigwell Child and Family Center
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmania Department of Education
The Chigwell Child and Family Center promotes the health and wellbeing, education and care of young children and their families. Practitioners work collaboratively to deliver a wide range of services that support children, families and the community. The pedagogical emphasis on child-centered activity engendered an environment that fosters imagination and allows children to move freely. The distinction between building structure and play equipment is blurred, engaging children in exploration, physical activity and play. Responding to the deep and narrow site, the sustainable building design encompasses a backdrop of Mount Wellington and breathtaking views of the River Derwent below.

Red Hawk Elementary School
Erie, Colo.
RB+B Architects
“Anytime, anywhere learning,” was a primary consideration in the design of Red Hawk Elementary, eliminating traditional hallways and incorporating unique and creative learning environments. Inspired by scenes of colorful street festivals, the design team created a central “living room”, affording kids the ability to weave in and out of this colorful setting throughout the day. Red Hawk’s commitment to student health and physical activity is unparalleled. Their All School Movement Program is designed to get students out of their seats for 40 minutes a day, in addition to PE and recess. During the Red Hawk Walk, students and teachers powerwalk through the wide hallways, flex spaces and community areas of the building.

Sandy Hill High School
Sandy, Ore.
Dull Olson Weekes-IBI Group Architects
Incorporating contemporary planning and design strategies relevant to 21st century education, the design of Sandy Hill High School was organized to minimize environmental impacts and disturbance of the natural landscape. Transparency, visibility and connectedness to the outdoors are a common theme, expanding educational opportunities beyond the building. A Community Boulevard runs north/south and provides a public presence for the theater, gymnasium, multi-level commons and community rooms used by both community and school. The Student Street runs east/west and navigates the 80-foot elevation change. Along this path are the entries to the learning wings, composed of “cabins”, four or five classrooms gathered around a shared extended learning area, terraced into the hillside, providing a tranquil setting within nature.

Singapore International School
Secondary School Campus
Honk Kong
MKPL Architects Pte Ltd
The Singapore International School in Hong Kong (HKSIS) was established in 1995 as the only overseas school funded by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. In 2007, an empty public school building adjacent to the campus was made available for the expansion of HKSIS to include a secondary school and pre-university curriculum. Through adaptive re-use and partial modernization, the facility was transformed into a unique learning environment, climate-responsive and ecologically sensitive. Celebrating community and connectivity, the project encompasses physical connections between the old and new buildings housing the primary school and the secondary wing. Visual connections to the mountainous landscape as well as social connections within the school and extending to the community continue the pattern of “making connections.” A central atrium forms the heart of the school, connecting all levels of the facility, introducing daylighting and natural ventilation to the interior spaces. A ‘floating volume – sports zone’ forms a natural canopy over the main plaza, enabling the space to become an all-weather social gathering space.

Trillium Creek Primary School
West Linn, Ore.
Dull Olson Weekes-IBI Group Architects
Built on a site used as neighborhood open space, including a significant stand of firs, wetlands and the headwaters of Trillium Creek, the Trillium Creek Primary School project provided a unique opportunity to design a school reflective of the community’s values. The design highlights the natural features of the site and provides walking paths and connections for the community to use the site for exploring the forest and wetland. The multidimensional library is the center of research and inquiry. The school is meant to portray that learning can be fun, incorporating bright colors, multidimensional spaces, a crow’s nest and even a slide in the library Each classroom in the school features an “oriel” that extends from the building and creates an independent learning place for students, giving the feeling that they are suspended in the outdoor forested environment.

Lee J. Brockway Award – Renovation
Buckingham County Primary and Elementary Schools
Dillwyn, Va.
VMDO Architects
Two former Virginia mid-century schools were repurposed as a modern learning campus for K-5 students promoting connectivity, creativity, health and wellbeing for the community. A dining commons connects the two buildings and serves as a hub for activity for the entire community. Unique shared used spaces like a kitchen lab, commercial kitchen, teaching kitchens and outdoor gardens are used by the public providing healthy, food based education for the community. Academic areas spill out into corridors with reading nooks and small group study stations, transforming the area into child-centric “learning streets.” By thoughtfully integrating local resources in the schools indoor/outdoor spaces, the learning campus promotes the natural environment in daily experiences of students.

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