First Creek Middle School, Tacoma Public Schools, Tacoma, Washington
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First Creek Middle School
Tacoma Public Schools
Tacoma, Washington
  • 2011 Grand Award, Learning By Design
The project arose from the need to merge two smaller schools into a new facility. It is based on the design of Giaudrone Middle School, a project opened in 2003, and known for its use of natural lighting to improve the quality of teaching spaces. Through interviews with district staff and close coordination with the design team, NAC Architecture and the District modified the prototype to best fit this site. The layout places the commons as the core of the school with three two-story classroom neighborhoods feeding off the central spine, separating the academic wings from the activity areas. At the entries, large windows and projecting canopies create an open and inviting feeling, while at the same time providing supervision and security.