Project File: School design stimulates learning

The $10.7 million, 95,000-square-foot Wynbrooke Elementary School in DeKalb County, Ga., provides an environment that stimulates the learning and teaching process. Every element of the school was designed with its 1,000 students' needs in mind.

The school is nestled at the entrance to a neighborhood in Stone Mountain, an Atlanta suburb. The location made it easy for neighbors to provide input required to produce a school that benefits the students and the surrounding community.

Curved walls, natural light and small interior windows in geometric shapes create an inviting space. The exterior has multicolored brick, arranged in appealing textures and patterns, with metal roofing. One of the interesting exterior features is the principal's office; from the outside, the semicircular windowed room draws attention. From the inside, it has a panoramic view of the school grounds.

Each extra-wide hallway has its own color scheme, so children can find their way easily. Classroom doors on one side of the kindergarten/first-grade area open onto a canopied area for school buses; the other side opens onto an outdoor play area for the youngest grades, carpeted with rainbow-striped safety matting.

The school also offers a more challenging playground for older children, as well as math, computer and reading labs, plus music, art and science rooms. An outdoor amphitheater, tucked between two wings of the building, serves as an outdoor classroom, assembly area or concert venue.

Architect for the project is Goode Van Slyke Architecture (Atlanta).

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