Machias Elementary School, Snohomish School District, Snohomish, Washington
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Machias Elementary School
Snohomish School District
Snohomish, Washington
  • 2012 Project of Distinction, Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI)
        World Congress on Educational Environments
  • 2012 James D. MacConnell Award Finalist, CEFPI (with Riverview Elementary)
  • 2012 Civic Design Merit Award, AIA Washington Council
  • 2012 What Makes It Green Award, AIA Seattle
  • 2012 Grand Award, Learning By Design
  • 2010 WAN Education Award Longlist of Top 25 Unbuilt Projects, World Architecture News
  • Machias Elementary School was one of a half dozen schools featured in an Architectural Record’ feature on Schools of the 21st Century
The new Machias Elementary School showcases the community's heritage through an exploration and expansion of its rural identity, which was accomplished through a connection to the land; frugality, the use of materials at hand; and self sufficiency and independence.
A connection to the land: The school is oriented with all classroom neighborhoods facing the woods. An open playfield in front of the school replicates historic rural development patterns in which the farmhouse is located behind the fields.
Frugality, the use of materials at hand: Curved beams salvaged from the original school are reused as arching columns, generating a curvilinear form reminiscent of your grandfather’s barn. The circulation and communal learning spaces such as the library, interdisciplinary learning lab, and resource classroom reside within the building's free-flowing core.
Self Sufficiency and Independence: A super-insulated building envelope with triple-glazed windows and spray-foam wall insulation, ground-loop heat exchangers, and a 100Kw photovoltaic array estimated to generate enough electricity for approximately 18% of the building’s energy needs are a significant start toward independence. No fossil fuels are used to operate a building estimated to use 39% of the energy of a typical school building.
Building exterior with curved windows, link to larger image
Building exterior, link to larger image
Building exterior, link to larger image
Teacher and students in flexible learning space, windows, link to larger image
Students in library, natural lighting, link to larger image
Girl on bench overlooking library, link to larger image
Interior window detail, link to larger image
Students in upper hallway, window and skylight, link to larger image
Curved hallway with slatted ceiling, blue and clear windows, link to larger image