Brookside Elementary Multi-Use

Project Description

The Elementary School required an enlarged upgraded multi-use building to fit the growing school population and replace the original outdated 1940’s multi-use building. The project included a large warming kitchen, ample storage space, restrooms, a stage, and various exterior improvements comprised of a large amphitheater, new basketball courts, shade structures, and a playground.

Design Challenge

The intention was to create an efficient budget-conscious design with simple forms and materials in energetic ways. The multi-use room was designed as a simple rectangular volume with material efficiencies in mind. To meet the need for spillover attendance, the use of roll-up doors and outdoor seating, designed through tiered steps padded with soft grass over the sewer berm, formed an outdoor amphitheater. As we developed ways to engage a new entry while addressing easement constraints restricting building placement, a concept emerged placing the stage forward as a signage mural anchoring the entry sightline. A drop off zone and circular landscape berm provided clear vehicular circulation for school parents. The scale of the multi-use was broken down adjacent to the residential neighbors through the 1-story volumes of support rooms staggered in a sawtooth fashion to follow the sewer easement. The roof is designed for a future photovoltaic array. As the campus is upgraded and modernized in the years to come, this new building will set the tone and inspire the design of future construction.

Physical Context

The location on the campus of the existing multi-use was in an underdeveloped unassuming corner of the campus. The unhealthy modest building could not simply be readapted to fit the desired need for the growing campus population. The team identified three primary design challenges that needed to be solved to meet the needs of the campus: 1. Budget limitations would not allow for a building large enough to accommodate peak loads during certain assemblies. 2. The location of the existing building potentially provided a new visual anchor for the campus that needed to be defined. 3. Existing grading and various easements surrounding the building restricted an increase in footprint and building placement.