2019—Askew Elementary School

Houston ISD—Askew Elementary School
Architect: cre8 Architects

“The new school is a replacement Vanguard Magnet, LEED Silver, 21st Century learning environment that consolidates 900 elementary students from an outdated building and multiple temporary structures into 110,830 sf. The Vanguard program teaches leadership skills at all grade levels and instills a sense of ownership in the building and the programs by the students. Spaces are designed to accommodate this curriculum and adapt as new technologies and teaching methodologies emerge.”


“The design of the school evokes a modern take on the traditional brick school house, with modern geometric volumes, colorful sections, and a fine balance of natural light and shade from the hot Texas sun. Rectilinear forms are used for efficient space planning, and spaces are designed for transparency, collaboration, flexibility, and to support the Vanguard curriculum. “Grown up” furniture and spaces requested by the students supports their journey through the Vanguard program.”


“This project is a replacement school built on the existing campus so there was no expenditure to purchase a new site. The District was maintaining the existing school and multiple temporary structures with outdated systems, roofs, learning and recreation spaces.”


Certified LEED Silver. A holistic approach was used for this project from the ground up: Pervious parking spaces recharge ground water to hydrate mature trees which were protected during construction. Native plants and grasses were added to the site, eliminating the need for a sprinkler system. The building features a combination of daylight harvesting, light wells, and shading devices. Digital systems control the lighting, shades, air and heat.


“The school is a highly desirable Vanguard Magnet school with high enrollment and dedicated parents who are actively involved with the school. A Project Advisory Team comprised of parents, school district administrators, teachers, and community constituents was established early in the process to work with the design team to identify goals and objectives for the new school.”


“Town Hall sessions were held by the Design Team and the Project Advisory Team for the community, district, and students to build consensus for the project. The “big ideas” of these sessions formed the starting point of subsequent Design Charettes.”

School Transformation

“The existing 1-story school had lovely mature trees, but no welcoming presence or sense of place. The campus required numerous temporary buildings to adequately house its enrollment. The new 2-story school has a vibrant, welcoming “front door” and is planned for growth and all students and functions are in one building. The new building fully supports a NextGen, Vanguard curriculum in a LEED Silver Certified building and a Spark Park.”

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner