August 21, 2019

Architect's Newspaper Publishes Rockford Public Schools K-5 Prototype School

Architect’s Newspaper has published the Rockford Public Schools K-5 prototype and celebrates that it’s “designed with students rather than just for them.”

The piece profiles the project, its positive impact, and how students were integrated into the design process. It also features commentary from Design Principal Robert Benson: “Allowing students to choose between alternate body positions fosters creativity and collaboration. We designed the spaces in the same spirit of mobility. Students move from space to space, lesson to lesson throughout the day and there is no stagnation sitting for hours in a single space. The architecture creates a physical outlet for the innate needs of child physiology.”

The full article is available online. Below is another key excerpt:

“One of the first and most important parts of pre-design was figuring out how to integrate a “town square” or village concept into the heart of the school. Benson said that Cherry Valley faculty hold “morning briefings” each day with the students, many of whom have difficult home lives, to help kids communicate any negative experiences they’d recently had and to keep the teachers clued in. The library, gymnasium, art studio and kitchen all surround the village and feature glass sliding doors.

To physically embody the openness and trust that students should feel when stepping into the school, CannonDesign created a light-filled colorful town square full of moveable foam furniture, tables and chairs. Clerestory ribbon windows, built across the sloping shed roof, both ensure safety and give the interior corridor daylight. According to Benson, the village’s design evokes the form and massing the overall architecture – an elongated structure with a facade of extruded angular walls. Low-lying windows punctuate the gray brick so kids can see the colorful interior before entering each day. These elements help them break down the scale of the building.”

Learn more about Rockford’s K-5 Prototype School >