It takes a village.
A village-inspired approach to elementary school design.
Home away from home.
Solana Ranch Elementary School turned to HED to refine and realize their vision for a vibrant, welcoming and community-oriented elementary school.
Creative and iterative, the planning process brought together community members, parents, teachers, staff, board members and students to craft a comprehensive, inclusive vision for the new school. An environment that supports collaborative learning. Spaces that inspire revelatory “aha!” moments. A sustainable structure that leverages energy-efficient design strategies—and serves as a teaching tool for a new generation of environmental stewards. During the planning process, Solana Beach School District staff and HED’s design team also participated in the Savings by Design program, which encourages a team approach to the design of energy efficient buildings.
Airy and cheerful, the award-winning design centers on the idea of a village—a series of two-story “houses” that students can navigate as easily and comfortably as their own homes. Extensive passive design strategies including north/south classroom orientation, skylights and clerestory windows, and cross-ventilation keep the interior light and comfortable, and photovoltaic panels offset up to 100% of the building’s energy use.
Situated on a tranquil ten-acre site with ocean views, the completed structure is a focal point for the surrounding area, a community centerpiece that’s bright, inviting and nurturing—one that both establishes a strong sense of place, and teaches its students that they can go anywhere.