“Daylighting, natural materials, scale of the building and spaces as well as the integration with the site, make this an inviting place to learn.”
Sunita L. Williams Elementary School has been awarded a Citation for outstanding design in the American School & University® 2021 Architectural Portfolio. The project is featured in the November/December 2021 edition of the AS+U magazine and also online at SchoolDesigns.com. An annual competition honoring education design excellence, the Architectural Portfolio spotlights projects representing today’s most effective learning environments.
Opened for the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, the new Sunita L. Williams Elementary School is a grades K-5, LEED v4 Silver Certified school. The facility is designed to support inclusive learning and team collaboration both indoors and outside while seamlessly integrating the three-story building into its residential neighborhood.
A jury of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on Architecture for Education members and education administrators evaluated submissions from architectural firms, schools, and universities across the country. 2021 marked the competition’s 39th year.
As a guide for their evaluations of the designs, the jurors paid special attention to these criteria:
- Inclusive and welcoming to all
- Beauty that inspires joy
- Seamless integration of indoors and out
- Promotes collaboration, community, and active learning
- Exhibits innovation throughout
- Health and safety
- High-quality construction
In making the award, the jury said of the school, “Daylighting, natural materials, scale of the building and spaces as well as the integration with the site, make this an inviting place to learn.” These were all specific design objectives put forward by the School Building Committee and of paramount value to the design team. Recognition of these features by the jury validates their intrinsic importance to today’s learning environments.
Founded in 1928, American School & University is devoted exclusively to education facilities/business administration. The authority for information about the educational facilities market, AS&U delivers an insightful combination of exclusive reports, special focuses, and how-to articles. For more information, visit ASUmag.com and SchoolDesigns.com.