2016—Bonham Academy

San Antonio ISD—Bonham Academy
Architect: Marmon Mok, LLP

Multi-phased addition/renovation of an existing elementary school (ca 1889). Transform historic and culturally relevant elementary campus into a purpose designed fine arts, sciences, and language academy ready for the future.  The project was required to be constructed while campus operations continued, and included comprehensive upgrades throughout the campus resulting in enhanced campus security while accommodating enriched technology infrastructure and fine arts areas, and science facilities.


The new building addition reflects the appearance of the existing historic buildings and maintains the cultural link to the history of the area.  The exterior panel colors of the building reflect all the vibrant colors found throughout the community, which makes the region unique to the city.  The new building and landscape fosters an opportunity for interaction with the community and city-at-large through public use of the new black box theater, outdoor gardens, music, and art classrooms.


Design—Star of DistinctionDesign of the addition borrows materials, scale, rhythm and proportion from the existing historic building.  Lines, color and patterns tie back to architecture of the campus. Program and site planning respond to active contribution from the community. Vibrant colors reflect beauty and fabric of the long established neighborhood. Formal elements of the addition highlighted its dramatic arts curriculum. Overall result strengthens its bond to the community’s diverse cultural and historic heritage.


Collaboration with community, educators, and administrators contributed to the design.  Organization of instructional and support spaces provide opportunities for collaboration, connectivity, and informational experiences through flexible fine art spaces, black box theater, new science classrooms, outdoor learning spaces and student garden planting areas.   Site planning and playground facilities reflect community participation in the planning process.


Renovation of an existing historic building with added facilities conserve material, energy, and labor otherwise required to create a new campus.  Sustainable design methods including unique highly reflective roofing exceeding energy reflective standards, large windows with insulated Low-E glazing, efficient use of natural lighting, water conserving plumbing fixtures, occupancy sensors, use of regional materials, and low voc finishes contribute to reductions in energy and water requirements..


Value of addition link to historic architectural vocabulary and contribute to the fabric of the area.  Scale, proportion, and vibrant colors bridge to the community, making the school a beacon for learning.  Renewed campus provides value to present and future students through flexible learning environment, open spaces, and publicly accessible facilities that enrich student and community identity.  Orientation, location, and compact two story addition allows for more exterior open spaces.

School Transformation

Transformation goes beyond the student experience to the realm of relationship to the larger community.  Contextual design of the addition, vibrant colors, proximity to the street and expression of function enhances the experience for anyone who passes by or utilizes the campus. It will transform learning, making, music, and theatrical experience of students, making a powerful and visible statement of the community’s commitment to its place, its future and the future of its children.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner