Ross Baldwin Elementary School

Austin, TX

Project Description

With a thoughtful focus on conserving natural resources and creating a stimulating environment to support a desire for learning, Ross F. Baldwin Elementary School embodies the belief that the physical and natural environments can engage and support learning on many levels. The elementary school serves 650 students between the grades of Pre-K through Fifth Grade. The 86,882-square-foot school houses 38 classrooms in the two-story building with a shared art, music, and computer lab in a one-story wing. The cafeteria and physical education room serve a dual purpose as a combined large assembly space. The library and administrative suite border an entry courtyard that leads to the centralized double height ‘Bobcat’ Hall. Bright colors are employed throughout the interiors.

An evaluation of the site, long-term facility benefits and potential expenses led the design team to include multiple strategies to minimize site disturbance, conserve water and energy, and select materials based on regional sources and recycled content. Abundant daylight provides an enhanced indoor environment, with reflective light shelves in the classrooms and exterior sun control devices. Each of these areas of focus reveals itself in compelling spaces and forms throughout the building.