Ron Russell Middle School

Portland, Oregon
Area: 95,600 sf

Honorable Mention Design Award - Learning By Design

This school is designed to reach out and be the focal point of the neighborhood. The goals were to create a facility that displays the education process to the public, be accessible to the community, provide community identity and introduce natural light as a design element.

Located on 7.8 acres of land, the scale of the building is minimized by maintaining a buffer with an existing grove of Douglas Firs and setting the building back from the street. Access to the front entrance is provided through sequential spaces from the street to the front entry.

A two-story, north-south circulation spine provides access to all the major activity areas. Natural light is introduced at each end, between classroom wings and at the commons. The two-story commons space is centrally located on the first floor with a window wall that faces the athletic fields and the adjacent elementary school. Two glazed overhead doors open to a covered outdoor activity area. The Commons space is bracketed by two towers and covered with a sloped metal roof that extends over the outdoor activity area.

The Gymnasium, located at the north end of the building, is identified with ground face concrete block and provides easy access for the community. Two-story classroom wings bracket the two-story Administration and Instructional Media Center wing. Classrooms have generous window openings to introduce natural light. South facing classrooms have light shelves to reflect natural light into instructional spaces and minimize energy consumption.

Roof forms are pitched to reflect the surrounding residential area. Major circulation elements are identified with "Romaine" colored corrugated steel siding. Classroom wings are identified with corrugated galvanized steel siding setting on a brick base. The Administration and IMC wing are identified with ground face concrete block.

This project was designed to be energy efficient utilizing LEEDS and the Oregon Department of Energy standards as a guideline.

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