Creating a design that complements the mission of Little Elm
An overcrowded school district resulted in the development of Prestwick STEM Academy—an educational facility that was meant to be a “school of choice” in Little Elm, Texas. One goal was clear: the building could not have classrooms. And through an engaging visioning process with stakeholder representatives, we helped to develop a new instructional model and architectural solution that supported a collaborative, “learning anywhere” mentality.
A visioning process guided the stakeholder group through a series of experiences and exercises to reveal opportunities that best support 21st-century learning techniques. The outcome? Not only is the building energy-efficient, but our two-story floorplan is flexible and can transition to an elementary or middle school in the future. The interior aesthetic simulates real world environments while still providing a youthful setting that is playful and comfortable. Keeping unity, the exterior facade is designed to blend with its surroundings, and was created by using local materials and matching existing buildings around the community.
There are multi-grade level learning pods for 130 students, equipped with shared classrooms, labs, and large open spaces. We also added varying sizes of space to accommodate several meeting sizes, and movable furniture with task-focused seating to support informal collaboration. The central common area and learning stair effectively encourage students to mobilize and “learn anywhere”.
At a Glance
- 2015 TASA/TASB Exhibit of School Architecture, Stars of Distinction – Planning, Value
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