Round Rock ISD—Redbud Elementary School
The new 123,000 sf elementary school was designed from the district’s desire to bring biophilic design into the learning environment. Redbud Elementary was designed to inspire and bring joy to students. Featuring organic forms, natural hues, and abundant sunlight, the new school is designed with specific biophilic principles in mind and demonstrates potential ways in which beneficial aspects and forms of nature can be integrated into educational spaces.
Designed around the concept of a Magnificent Tree. Featuring organic forms, natural hues and abundant sunlight, the school is designed with biophilic principles in mind and demonstrates ways in which beneficial aspects and forms of nature can be integrated into educational spaces. Biophilic design is woven throughout the school and creates a sense of calm, safety, and wellness while at the same time allowing them a sense of discovery and anticipation to explore and have fun while learning.
The school offers abundant opportunities for learning and engagement. Operable sliding walls in every classroom and flexible furniture allow for individual, group, or multi-classroom formats. The design reflects highly durable, low-maintenance finishes on the exterior and interior. The school was delivered on budget and on schedule and provides an environment enhancing student health and comfort. The students and community are proud of the school and respect and maintain the facility.
The school was designed to inspire and bring joy to students. From the onset, students are introduced to the importance of the natural environment and its connection to their healthy development and well-being. Students connect to nature through abundant natural light, outside views, organic geometries, materials, and color selection. Repetitive natural forms connect the students to features and patterns found in nature and allow them to recharge and improve their ability to focus and learn.
The campus backs up to a beautiful community park and serves as an extension of the community’s love of outdoor activities and interaction with nature. The inspiration for the school was derived from the park and native trees that surround the site and are both a focal point within the school’s graphic elements and overall concept. The park is home to an orchard of trees that serve as a memorial to beloved community members who have passed away.
The planning process was initiated by community and district leadership with a design charrette where goals were set to create a school like no other in the district. The idea was born to imagine how a school could promote student health and well-being and help find new ways to define, inspire and bring joy to students in the school environment. The result is an inspirational school and one that helps shift environmental awareness in the value of the relationship between children and nature.
The biophilic design concept bridges the gap between the natural and built worlds and creates opportunities to drastically improve the student experience. The school brings multiple opportunities for engagement, discovery, creativity, joy, wonder, and adventure not just outside the building but within the fabric of the school. The school offers us hope, by promoting student health and well-being and helping us find new ways to define, inspire and bring joy to students in the school environment.
Star of Distinction Category Winner