Middleburg Elementary School
Middleburg elementary school was built upon the concept of public and private scale throughout its design. The project began as the renovation of a high school and elementary school within an existing three school campus. Early discussions stressed the importance of redeveloping the entire campus and not only the two buildings to create a unified campus. Although they were in close proximity to each other, all three buildings faced away from each other. Pedestrian, delivery, faculty, visitor and town traffic overlapped each other along with athletic and play areas creating unsightly safety concerns.
The final design reorganized the entire campus stressing connections between the three buildings and separation of traffic. A series of plazas, play areas and student lawns were developed at the core of the campus connected by walkways between the buildings. The concept of public exterior and interior space was pulled into Middleburg Elementary School through a progression of scales. The plazas conclude with the entrances to the buildings. These entrances transfer into public streets within the buildings leading to the community spaces within the buildings, gymnasiums, cafeterias, libraries and other public spaces. These “public streets” lead to three “schools within a school” reducing the scale for elementary age children.
These three interior schools are further broken down into individual “grade houses”. Each grade house consists of a ring of classrooms centered with a communal daylit activity area for team teaching and small group instruction.
The final scale is the “grade house” which is comparable to residential architecture in size creating a flexible active yet intimate environment for students to learn.