Eastgate Elementary School, Bellevue School District, Bellevue, Washington
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Eastgate Elementary School
Bellevue School District
Bellevue, Washington
  • 2010 Civic Design Citation Award, American Institute of Architects Washington Council
  • 2010 Citation of Excellence, Learning By Design (National Award)
  • 2010 Citation, National School Boards Association Exhibition of School Architecture
The Eastgate Elementary School replacement explores conceptual and physical approaches to organizing space, positing an answer to the questions: What constitutes a school's unique experience? How is the building typology formalized? The project identifies and examines the aspects of daily school life that can provide a basis for reinterpretation of the early learning environment. The goal is to integrate architectural and site design to foster a variety of learning experiences. The reinterpretation of schools as a type occurs by exploring students' changing psychology and experiences and their relationship to a school's architectural spaces with the intent of stimulating learning in all its forms.
Defining school as "a place to grow and learn, a place to connect with self, nature, and community," this project posits an architecture that instructs. It is architecture of alternating solid and void, abstraction and logic, and stimulation and experience. Circulating through the school, one experiences the constantly shifting relationship of outside and inside, of prospect and refuge. The courtyards provide exterior instruction convenient to all learning areas. The building volumes open to the exterior, allowing daylighting throughout the school. Exterior finish textures comprise a system of scale, eliciting responses at different distances to approach, engage or touch.