The goal was to create a physical environment that accommodates the variety of ways students learn through both indoor and outdoor spaces that are flexible, engaging, and spark curiosity and exploration. The dynamic experiences in and under the bridges and in the terraced courtyard lend themselves to experimentation and a multiplicity of uses by small and large groups. For example, the outdoor amphitheatre can be used for a teaching arena, a student performance venue, an outdoor learning area, or a place for play.
The Snohomish community highly values the natural setting of the site and the ability to enjoy the outdoors. The school is conceived as two wings connected by two bridges spanning a terraced, natural courtyard. A mechanical basement carved into the slope efficiently facilitates the displacement ventilation system that provides 100% fresh air at floor level to all classrooms. With a clear view of Mount Baker from the library and views to the surrounding forests throughout the school, nature is constantly present. These expansive views bring the outside in, allowing a constant connection to natural cycles. The forested edges of the site serve as quiet backdrops for the library and the small group spaces adjacent the classrooms.