Mahlum Architects
Robertson | Sherwood  | Architects

Roosevelt Middle School.jpg

High levels of transparency reflect the local culture of welcoming openness, acceptance, and curiosity. Everything happens in full view of the Roosevelt Middle School community. While navigating their learning environment, students are enabled to discover new interests while their curiosity is sparked. Recognizing the student habit of “looping” as an important tool for teenage social skill building, we created a circular layout for the new school with plenty of scattered “pockets” for small groups to congregate.

Educational building blocks looping around a central courtyard: The Idea Exchange is truly an intersection of school and community. The traditional functions of a media center have been distributed to provide areas for forum, meeting, presentation, gaming, gathering, conferences, parent/­teacher meetings, relaxing, discussion and research. The Makers’ Lab is a multi­purpose space for doing – a space that provides opportunities for early career technology education that continues the Roosevelt tradition of hands­on learning. A highly transparent separation between the lab and circulation space also allows the school community the chance to peek in and observe the learning process. The Culture Hub consists of a flexible cafeteria / performance venue is where the celebration of culture, food and community truly come together for students. Roosevelt will generate 77% fewer CO2 emissions than the average U.S. building of the same type and size.  Sustainable features are visible, labeled and digitally quantifiable so they can be integrated into the curriculum: 105 KW solar array and 15,000 gallon rainwater cisterns supply greywater to all toilets and landscape irrigation. 

Jury's Comments; “The plan of the school strongly reflects its mission to provide places of learning, social interaction, and teacher – student engagement.  Transparency between small group, corridors, and vertical transition directly correlate with the school’s educational purpose.  Throughout the interior, glazing and openings are arranged to promote both the sense of connectedness, and how people come together.

The jury commends how this school helps students transition from child to young adult, by encouraging exploration and discovery in a wonderful learning environment.  In particular, the jury was impressed by the thoughtful use of glazing, color, lighting, and wall materials to create a sense of permanence and transition.”