The addition of six kindergarten classrooms and a shared collaboration zone provided an opportunity to position the Ballard West Elementary School in Slater, Iowa, for future growth.
Clearly visible from the main highway through town, the new addition creates an iconic statement that reflects the progressive mentality of the district. The whimsical dancing windows of the collaboration zone, coupled with clerestory windows and the reference to local agrarian materials, create a distinct piece of architecture situated within a rural Iowa setting.
The collaboration zone links two banks of classrooms, additional rest rooms and support spaces, while introducing elements of color, natural daylight and a dynamic space for group learning and activities. The architectural solution allows for future classroom additions by maintaining simple circulation patterns and natural wayfinding, without sacrificing natural daylight. Several sustainable design initiatives were incorporated into the project, including natural daylighting, the use of highly efficient glazing systems, the use of local materials such as polished concrete floors and concrete block walls, and the use of energy-efficient HVAC systems.
11,000 SF Addition