The architects of Winchester Thurston's North Hills Campus have received a nationally competitive Citation from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), honoring innovation and excellence in architectural design.
Designed by architects Roxanne Sherbeck and Sara Snyder of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the campus is one of only 14 educational facilities, among nearly 100 competitors nationwide, to receive a 2007 AIA Educational Facility Design Award.
"I am not surprised that BCJ was honored in this way," says Nancy Rogers, North Hills Campus Director. "The architects took into consideration that this is a building for young children, creating small spaces within a larger space, and making children feel very comfortable right away, giving them a sense of ownership."
The campus design took place in phases over 17 years, culminating in 2005 with the construction of the 5,650 square foot Campus Center. Campus buildings, designed with rustic simplicity and economy of space, are adorned with red gabled roofs and blue clapboard siding. White-trimmed windows, often placed directly at child eye level, offer a view of the campus pond and flood the rooms with natural light.
"We needed this additional space because of a growing population," says Rogers. "We have always offered an enriched curriculum, but some special programs-such as computers and music-had no permanent home. Now, we have an ideal setting that is both functional and beautiful, and that has expanded our programming options."
"It's really a lot about the kids," says Sherbeck, who is also a Winchester Thurston parent of Annie J. '05 and Tristan J. '07. "We were seeking to create a campus that could bridge the gap between home and then going off to middle school, one that fit Winchester Thurston's child-centered approach."
Although Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has received numerous awards in the past from the AIA, Sherbeck says that this is their first award for an educational project. The firm officially received the award at the 2007 School Building Expo, March 8, in West Palm Beach, Florida. The campus design will also be featured May 3-5 at AIA's 2007 National Convention in San Antonio, Texas.