Paris Ridge Elementary School
The design for Paris Ridge Elementary was focused around the student’s education extending beyond the traditional classroom. A diversity of room sizes specified for learning and for social interaction both inside and outside the school emphasize this design philosophy. The school is broken down into three class wings, each consisting of six classrooms. Each wing is further broken down into three classroom clusters that front an extended learning space. This space allows instruction and group work to exist beyond the classroom and thus promotes group work between different classes. Also included in the class wings are smaller group rooms in which students and staff can interact. Breaking down the school into wings and smaller spaces within helps minimize the overwhelming presence that a 67,000 square foot building could have on elementary age children. A connection between the building and nature is reinforced through the integration of sustainable strategies, including the building materials used. Some of the sustainable elements include the use of a wind turbine, geothermal heat pump mechanical system, clerestory windows, radiant floors and energy efficient lighting, which also act as teaching tools for the students.