[New South] Elementary and Middle School
- Program Summary:
The New South Pre-K/8 was designed as a 290,000 sq ft school to house independent elementary and middle schools under one roof with shared core functions.
The design for the New South Elementary and Middle Schools challenged preconceptions in its response to pragmatic, programmatic, and budgetary requirements. The project required the creation of two new schools, one a prek-4 elementary and the other a 5-8 middle school, on a single parcel of land. The solution sought to identify elements of redundancy where cost savings could be had if eliminated, such as the kitchen and media-center support spaces. It also sought to identify areas where the individual school programs could be enhanced through a merger, these would include spaces like the auditorium, art classrooms, and music classrooms that were not in each program.
The need for each school to maintain an independent identity coupled with the desire to create a unified design across the campus lead to the use of complimentary colors to represent the identity of the individual schools and a third color to represent those items common to both. Against a unified neutral palate these colors became an wayfinding and orientation device.
The massing was conceptualized as 5 monolithic parallel program bars threaded together through the addition of a central spine. Carved moments in the monolithic bars reveal occasions of brilliant color identifying the individual grade structures while the central spine is clad in the third color.
As can be seen in the thoughtful use of circles throughout the design to act as foil against the strong horizontality; the goal of the design solution was to create a school that embodied a sophisticated playfulness.
Lead Project Designer at CDP.
Additional architectural visualization credits: Margaux Verdera, Dianna Osickey.