Happy Valley Elementary School Replacement, Bellingham Public Schools, Bellingham, Washington
Happy Valley Elementary School Replacement
Bellingham Public Schools
Bellingham, Washington
Designed around the idea of crossing paths, Happy Valley Elementary is formed by two parallel wings with a perpendicular connector, creating areas of convergence along the main circulation paths. Skylights along the connector path pull light deep inside the building. The dynamic geometry of the building draws inspiration from a large sculpture collection at the nearby Western Washington University campus.
Engaging learning environments, both inside and outside, support a variety of project based activities. Care was given to shape the school to support learning happening anywhere. Shared learning areas, inclusive Special Ed services, small pull-out seating, and an Idea Lab facilitate the school's pedagogy. A learning first approach to the exterior design resulted in a substantial gardening area, a learning and gathering courtyard connected to the Commons with a garage door, and natural design outdoor classroom areas.