Carl Sandburg Elementary School

Lake Washington School District

Kirkland, Washington

Carl Sandburg Elementary School has been honored with a Citation Award from the AIA Washington Council 2017 Civic Design Awards. The Civic Design Awards celebrate high quality of design in public projects, and the awarded projects represent the finest standards in innovation, sustainability, building performance, and overall integration with their surrounding community and the needs of the client.

Both Carl Sandburg Elementary School and the Lake Washington School District are very engaged in environmental stewardship. Therefore, the exterior aesthetic was designed to reflect this. The main entry plaza and front of the building reflects this commitment to environmental stewardship through a visually significant sunscreen integrated around the front entry fa├žade. Preserving and enhancing the park-like feel of the northwest corner of the site was central to the planning of the replacement school. The majority of the classroom neighborhoods are focused on a grove of 70 year old Big Leaf maples, creating multiple outdoor learning spaces that enjoy the natural setting. Poems written by the school's namesake, especially about nature, are prominently displayed both inside the main lobby area and in two outdoor plaza spaces.