Hoffman Architects, PA
This project consisted of a major renovation of a mid-1970s prototype school, including the transformation of the existing open plan concept to individual classroom layouts. Formerly a mostly dark, windowless building, Quail Hollow Elementary School was transformed to a bright and vibrant environment with new window openings, skylights, and strategically placed glass corridor walls to allow natural light into the spaces. An 8-classroom building addition was designed incorporating 21st-century school program design philosophies to encourage and foster student learning through collaborative spaces.
We believe that setting a positive architectural language strengthens the students’ relationships with their school. We used the application of color schemes and exciting geometrical elements on walls, floors and ceilings as well as a play of ceiling heights and eye level elements that relate to the smaller scale of children. In addition to the brightness, these design features not only create a sense of fun for the students but also enhance their learning environment. Finding joy in their environment makes the students want to go to school and take pride in it as well.
This school was designed to control access; all visitors must enter and be screened through the administration as a security checkpoint, while primary student access is locked during school hours. Thoughtful placement of interior and exterior windows in relation to corridors, central spaces, classrooms, offices and parking lots allows for problems or threats to be perceived early on. Passive monitoring is aided by clear simple circulation that allows for a straight line of sight and no hidden areas.
As architects, the design of a school embodies the community’s value for their children’s education, and it is our responsibility to ensure that the building reinforces the effort that goes into education and the school experience.