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For Immediate Release

October 17, 2016

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Janell Weihs

Association for Learning Environments Applauds 2016 School Planning & Architecture Award Winners

WASHINGTON, DC – Projects of Distinction for new construction, Lighthouse Awards recognizing renovation projects and Design Concept Awards were presented for outstanding planning and inspired architectural design of high quality learning spaces to six exceptional projects during the recent Association for Learning Environments LearningSCAPES Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Juried for excellence in design and functional planning directed toward meeting the needs of the educational program, these outstanding projects demonstrated satisfaction of their intent with regard to the community environment, learning environment and physical environment.

Bill Stice, REFP, vice chair and jury chair commented, "As we evaluated and prepared for this year's outstanding entries, I would be remiss in not paying tribute to the 'Father of our National Architecture,' Thomas Jefferson. Our conference in Philadelphia has us surrounded by such rich history. Jefferson, known for his plans for the University of Virginia, designed an academic village in which students and professors would live, learn and teach in community. As seen by our colleagues, the impact and influence of design on learning environments continues to perpetuate student performance. I am honored to have been a small part of recognizing their innovation."

Projects of Distinction – New Construction Occupied Facilities

Discovery Elementary School
Arlington Public Schools
Arlington, Virginia
VMDO Architects
A series of interesting learning spaces with strong connections to the outdoors, every area of the school is arranged to create a seamless integration between design, sustainability, and learning. Discovery Elementary School showcases one of the more successful and integrated models of a 21st century learning environment, setting the stage for the development of the skills necessary for long-term stewardship of our world.

Discovery Elementary School

Montagne Centre
Marist College
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Y2 Architecture
As a new facility, the college founders saw the need to create a sense of community, culture, heritage and identity, leading to a design that both embraces the roots of Marist faith in France and fosters an Australian narrative, through the landscape, built forms and budding culture of the school. Notable for its very pleasing and flowing spaces, the humanly scaled timber structure, window walls and window seats invite engagement with the world beyond, highlighting the school's approach that students learn anywhere, anyhow and anytime.

Montagne Centre

Woodleigh School Homestead Redevelopment
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Law Architects
Providing a progressive curriculum within a sustainable natural environment, the Homesteads form the core of student life and a successful expression of a new way to deliver education. A high level of sustainable design from concept to construction within an environmentally focused and educated community are the hallmark of this design. The building's 'edges', between being "in" and "out", play a vital role in social wellbeing, creating a "home-like" feel providing both direct learning spaces and areas to socialize, play and reflect.

Woodleigh School Homestead Redevelopment

Lee J. Brockway Award – Renovation Projects

Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
BVN
Core to the vision for the school is the need for a student-centered environment which provides child-scaled, multiple learning contexts in recognition of a diversity of learners. The whole school is considered a place for learning, both indoor and outdoor. The penetration of light across the building section and the fluidity of space has created an exception learning environment. Sliding door panels and bookcases with sitting areas and stools carved out of the floor add interest, diversity and a sense of fun in learning.

Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School

Design Concept Award – Projects in the Design Phase

Arlington Elementary School
Tacoma Public Schools
Tacoma, Washington
Mahlum Architects
Accepting the challenge for their school to be an agent for serious change, every square inch of this innovative school is a vital place to learn. A remarkable transformational education plan, Arlington is designed to be the center of gravity for the entire community, not just their children. Arlington Elementary has provided a glimpse into the future with a pilot program that wraps traditional curriculum around a fusion of technology and flexible teaching space.

Arlington Elementary School

Missouri Innovation Campus
Lee's Summit School District
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Gould Evans
Missouri Innovation Campus engages area business partners who help craft the curriculum as well as hosting internships that begin during students' junior year of high school. The impressive array of partnerships supporting this innovative learning community push the learning culture toward one that develops genuine workplace skills and professionalism. The MIC program is a solution to better align graduates' skill sets with the needs of businesses, while striving to address the rising concerns of 21st-century students.

Missouri Innovation Campus

Special Citation Award

One Heart Children's Village Primary School & Children's Home
Turbo, Visin Gisja County, Kenya
ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects
Reminding us of our common goal to strive to improve education for children and conceived as an initiative to break the cycle of poverty in Kenya through education, One Heart Children's Village grew from the belief that education can change the lives of disadvantaged children and strengthen communities through providing hope, building key skills and knowledge, and addressing key social issues.

One Heart Children’s Village Primary School & Children’s Home

Photos available upon request


The Association for Learning Environments is the only professional organization whose primary purpose is improving the places where children learn. With approximately 4,500 members, the Association encompasses six geographic regions across the United States, and supports regional representation in Canada, Australasia, and the UK. The Association embraces a collaborative network of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable 21st Century learning places that inspire transformation in education, enhance student and teacher performance, and support culture and community vitality. To learn more visit our web site, or follow us on Twitter @A4LE2.