Located on a sloping site adjacent to a forested area and stream, the design for the new Honeygo Elementary School aims to engage with the land, rather than work against it.
Separated into two masses and joined by a central learning stair, the lower two-story classroom wing settles into the site, allowing for an approachable scale. In a nod to the site’s agricultural history, exterior materials and massing were inspired by agrarian forms.
Following principles of 21st Century Learning, areas for collaboration and an extension of the learning environment abound. Each floor of the classroom wing is organized around a collaborative learning commons with writable wallcoverings and moveable furniture accommodating a variety of learning and teaching styles. Integrated within the primary building circulation and extending outdoors, the learning stair serves a secondary purpose as a large group gathering space used for presentations, performances, or small group work. Expanses of glass and ample outdoor space continually merge inside and out and offer differing mediums for learning and gathering, including a light-filled media center with reading garden and a second floor rooftop learning terrace.
LEED Silver certified, the project’s sustainable elements include geothermal heating and cooling, recycled and sustainable materials, daylighting, minimal disturbance of the existing earth, LED light fixtures, and water-efficient fixtures.