As of 2008, Gulfton is one of Houston's most dense populations. As part of the school districts 'Rebuild' bondprogram, Cunningham was to receive a much needed new school. A strong concern for maintaining enrollment for families with siblings and cousins in attendance became the principal's motive to keep their current location in operation while the new one is being constructed on thesame site.
Maintainingthe existing building, while erecting a new school became anarchitectural problem outside of an operational obstacle. The current location is a single story facility prominently addressing Gulfton Street with a layout consisting of three long single loaded exterior corridors that create four courtyards of weathered oak trees(oriented east-west). The existing school and trees push the prospective site to the northern most region of the property, and would further change how Cunningham Elementary communicates to it's surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.
Graduating scale is a dominant motif across many design aspects of the school. The brick pattern is a program response who's pattern increases in relation to the contained space. A glazing pattern designating grade level works in concert with the brick pattern framing two scales of exterior play space. Similar themes are carried into the interior using paint and VCT, colors coordinate to compose vibrant circulation space.
Scheduled completion 2011
Page Southerland Page, Houston
Senior Associate Designer
John Clegg, Rob Owens (project manager), Chester Velasquez, Mark Menchaca