Sander Architects' elementary school architecture project pulls together disparate elements: an existing school building combines with a new complex housing classrooms, play areas, a full-size gym and a sizable parking structure.
Parking is critical to the success of school developments. Sander Architects designed an onsite two-story parking structure that accomplishes this, along with onsite space for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. These elements are key to diminishing the impact of traffic on the neighborhood.
Another challenge in a dense urban context is to provide enough play space for the children. In this case, Sander Architects designed both a full-size indoor gym and a 23,000 SF outdoor play space above the parking structure. This kind of creative thinking is important in the layout of an educational facility to perform on many levels. By layering the functions of each building, the campus has both inspirational spaces for the students while also accomplishing the pragmatic needs of a school.
The gymnasium is a multifunctional space that allows for all-school meetings, team sports, performances on its stage and large lectures. It is also designed for public presentations and events that will be open to the community.
As with many schools in large cities, this campus has the capacity to open part of the facility to the surrounding community and offer those spaces for local events. This is an important method of building connection with the neighborhood.