Schools  Featured Projects  Institutional  Educational / Institutional

This 48-classroom elementary school is an adaptive reuse of a vacant manufacturing facility in a growing North Austin neighborhood. The project team converted the 145,000 s.f. facility into AISD’s largest, most cost-effective elementary school. New structure inserted within the existing high bay building doubles available instructional space, while new windows and skylights supply every classroom with natural light, a feature that helped to earn the project a a LEED Gold rating from the US Green Building Council. A playful canopy marks the entry, creating a plaza in front of the building, while colorful “pop-up” elements punctuate the long, blank, exterior walls, aiding in wayfinding. The design turns the limitations of the existing structure into assets, transforming a former loading dock into a cheerful preschool area and using excess warehouse space to provide a covered outdoor play area and a spacious combined cafeteria and gymnasium that doubles as an auditorium. A central two-story atrium space and color-coded corridors help to orient students and connect spaces using views. Heimsath Architects provided overall design facilitation for the joint venture team and had primary responsibility for the floor plans, interior layout and design.