Sugar Grove Academy
For Middle School Students
- Houston, Texas
- 102,000 GSF / 750 students / LEED for Schools Certified
Schools that are engaging, vibrant and uplifting can foster a sense of belonging so important for kids, especially those at risk. This is readily apparent at Sugar Grove Academy.
A transient working class is the demographic of this inner city middle school, located in the midst of neglected apartment complexes and tired strip centers. The school was conceptualized as a village, with its implied sense of community support, shared interests and safety.
The building masses around an exterior teaching courtyard with the primary circulation leading past openings, revealing interior spaces and activities. There is always something to see and there are choices for interaction or quiet reflection.
The floor plan is compact with manageable travel distances between learning centers. The school progresses through three volumes that are zoned from the most public to most private with the major programmatic elements expressed through a series of smaller building shapes of a domestic scale, more familiar to a young student.
Mindful of a limited construction budget, readily available exterior and interior building materials and systems were maximized through careful articulation and straightforward detailing. The expression and integration of material selections and colors between exterior and interior provide both visual cues and continuity throughout the campus.