Parkrose Middle School
Parkrose School District
137,000 sq ft
Architecture and Interior Design
The new school is a replacement school on the same site as the existing middle school that remained in operation throughout construction. The site circulation was redesigned to separate bus and vehicular traffic and reduce peak drop-off and pick-up congestion.
The basic building block of the learning areas is a studio space configured in the shape of a capital letter ‘L’ with each leg being of equal width, termed the ‘fat L’. This shape accommodates the formation and functioning of small learning groups while providing a sense of separation. This perspective recognizes that non-traditional contemporary learning environments encourage students to fully participate in activities with others as they learn and actively help direct their knowledge acquisition. Extending this spatial concept further, four studios are grouped together; including a science focused space, around a shared flexible extended learning area that supports differentiated teaching practices and varied group learning.
Paired with another identical group, each set of eight studios then shares a quiet break-out space and either a multi-purpose studio for long term focused subject staging or a computer lab. The close proximity of these spaces to the media center also allows greater flexibility and individual responsibility with learning.