Built on a relatively small site at the intersection of Union Street and 13th Avenue in Capitol Hill, the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences Middle School is a new six-story vertically-configured facility that relates in volume to the mixed-use commercial core along the arterial street.
The academic spaces occupy the 51,372-sf building’s upper floors while the lower floors provide entry, administration rooms, gathering space, maker space, and music instruction. The lower floors also connect directly to the adjacent Seattle Academy buildings. A gymnasium and an outdoor rooftop playfield provide physical activity space.
The academic floors are broken up by grade with classrooms organized around collaborative learning spaces that are designed as double-height, stepped interior volumes that cascade between floors. Each classroom floor features a different accent color to create a sense of identity for each grade. “Classrooms have been conceptualized as independent units of learning that connect with each other, collaboration spaces, other grades and the rest of the school, providing a flexible educational experience,” said Mark Reddington, Partner-in-Charge, LMN Architects, in a release.
The two building volumes are wrapped in brick and punctuated by expanses or transparency. The façade is a mix of gray and cream bricks that fade vertically from dark to light. Red sunshades contrast against the brick backdrop and help bring the school’s identity outside of the building’s walls. An outdoor space at the entry provides an area for students to gather.
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In addition to LMN Architects, the build team also included: Coughlin Porter Lundeen (civil and structural engineer), PAE Consulting Engineers (MEP engineer), Swift Company (landscape architect).