Trillium Creek Primary School Named 2014 James D. MacConnell Award Winner
Washington, D.C. — After reviewing over 25 exceptional projects and narrowing them down to four finalists, the jury unanimously selected Trillium Creek Primary School in Wilsonville School District (West Linn, OR) designed by Dull Olson Weekes – IBI Group Architects, as this year’s winner of the James D. MacConnell Award. Presented at the recent Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) Annual Conference in Portland, OR, this prestigious award recognizes a comprehensive planning process that results in educational facilities that serve the community, enhances the educational program, and meets multiple goals.
Through a very authentic process that engaged students and their voices, one student shared: “I want to be the Captain of My Own Learning,” which became the basis of how the project developed. Named for the headwaters of a creek that begins within the schoolyard, Trillium Creek embraces multiple elements of sustainable designs and unique, playful features stemming from the collaborative planning process engaging the students, district and community from the outset.
The inclusive design process challenged standard practices and shaped a beautiful setting and delightful spaces that support re-imagining education. The slide in the library and the way the cafeteria addresses issues of health and wellness are indicative of the aspirations of contemporary education. A strong sense of community drove the use of interior glazing and the “see-through” design of the building. More than one of the jurors stated during deliberations: “This school makes me want to go back to school.”
Renée Alexander, AIA, Chair of the James D. MacConnell International Award Jury, remarked, “Through the collaborative and inclusive planning process, Trillium Creek emerged as a kid-friendly, delightful facility with innovative spaces for learning.”
Three other exceptional schools were selected as MacConnell Award finalists. Marine Science Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut, Learn Regional Educational Service Center, designed by JCJ Architecture, was the result of a decade-long commitment to develop a new type of school reflecting the culture and values of the community and region and prepare their students for higher education and/or marine-related careers. The unique design of this learning facility supports the innovative management, curriculum and great variety of spaces for learning.
Integrus Architecture brought the diverse interests of a small community together to create its only high school - Vashon Island High School, Vashon Island School District. As a one-high-school district, the challenge to be all things for all people in this highly educated, informed and activist community was paramount. An extensive community planning process shaped a complex yet elegant Vashon Island High School, encompassing a commitment to the arts; a culture of tolerance, respect and support; and respect for the natural environment in which it resides.
Carved into a hillside, Wilkes Elementary School, Bainbridge Island School District designed by Mahlum Architects, demonstrates exceptional use of the site with strong ties to outdoor learning spaces. While intimate educational spaces comprise a major part of the facility, public connections are evident in the communal and social spaces. As a result of the visual and physical connectivity, Wilkes is able to address the needs of the whole child, so that powerful learning happens everywhere.