Broadmor Elementary School
In an effort to accommodate updated educational delivery methods and eliminate the high cost of maintaining and operating 50 year old buildings, the Tempe Elementary School District #3 has started a program to replace their schools throughout the District. They recently developed standards for the various classroom and specialty areas to be instituted in their new facilities. Orcutt | Winslow was asked to implement these into the design of a replacement school on a vacant portion of the Broadmor School’s existing site.
The Broadmor School is located close to ASU, in a well-maintained closely-knit neighborhood of single story homes on tree-lined streets. The school, constructed in the mid-1950's on a 10-acre site, is of brick construction with continuous windows along the exterior walls. A freestanding library was constructed in 1994 that will be maintained and re-oriented to serve the replacement facility. A major priority of the neighborhood was to maintain as many of the existing trees as possible, provide natural light to the building interior, keep in character with the neighborhood and keep the existing school functional while the new building was being constructed. The existing facility was sorely lacking in parking and drop-off circulation and as a result, streets are congested and unsafe during drop off and pick up times.
In conjunction with district and school administration input these issues were streamlined during the site planning process. In keeping with the district’s desire of providing a clear and appealing entry image Orcutt | Winslow designed a U-shaped building that wraps a three-sided kindergarten courtyard. This highly visible but secure space is visible from the street and is set well behind a row of mature ash trees on a wide lawn. The building configuration allows transparency from the exterior through glass at the end of corridors. Occupants will always have a view to the exterior beyond while walking in the corridors. The main entry allows a clear view into the kindergarten playground through glass doors and sidelites from the parking lot. A large two story atrium with abundant natural light separates the gym and cafeteria from a two-story classroom block. This includes a bridge element at the end of the second floor corridor that provides views down into the gym and onto the public space below.