Designed by Integrus Architecture, Vashon Island High School in Washington wins the 2016 Grand Prize from Learning By Design. Below is a brief description about the project featured in the Spring 2016 edition.
“The high school is a great place to learn who you are and what you will become.” - Learning by Design Jury
Community workshops determined the new school’s character. These conversations led to an understanding of the close connection to the landscape that students and staff embrace in their daily lives. The design team sought to preserve this sense of connection by imparting a quality of porosity to the new building. Porosity suggested “breathing” as a metaphor for how the building supports spatial connections, how students move about the building, and for how the students themselves become the life force of the building and its site.
The idea of porosity further suggested the blurring of boundaries common to traditional educational environments. Rather than separating the academic and social activities that take place in the library and commons, for instance, these functions are combined into a collection of interlocking spaces that support study, collaboration and social engagement.
Learning occurs anywhere—and everywhere—with a wide variety of learning spaces distributed throughout the entire school. The new building reinforces the community’s values and desire to promote good stewardship of natural resources, including use of local materials and labor. All wood used as finish materials, for instance, was harvested from island sustainable forests; some was milled and finished by local sawyers.”
Photo Credit: Integrus Architecture