2022 — Game+Design+Development School

Burleson ISD—Game+Design+Development School
Architect: Pfluger Architects, Inc.

Prepare to have your mind blown. This school is programmed and designed to be something you have NEVER seen.  The idea formed when a commercial property with a state-of-the-art events venue became available.  Could it support education?  But not just any education. A specific, high-tech program that challenges the thinking of students, teachers, and the educational establishment. A new kind of school emerged from the dust that prepares students for future careers that don’t yet exist.


Open concept, glass, steel, ambient lighting, and alternative seating—everything designed to bring a high-tech, industry-inspired feel to the learning setting. The former commercial space was gutted to make way for a classroom-free environment with space that meets a variety of educational delivery methods. Glass-enclosed break-out rooms can accommodate full classes, group collaboration, or individual study, and the adjacent state-of-the-art venue provides event space for district needs.


Consider an empty box. It is highly flexible, adaptable, and potentially efficient. Now, without making a box of boxes, fill the void with everything that goes into a school.  How does one create order out of potential chaos? The design team used systems to develop zones that could positively affect education through healthier, more efficient air handling and task and mood-enhancing lighting. Everything in the classroom-free space is portable and durable.


The educational goal of this school is to push the envelope; the design needed to follow.  The classroom-free environment isn’t collaboration spaces here and classrooms there. It’s a new kind of space where students own their education. They can get ahead, collaborate, or study individually. It’s their choice.  Teachers here creatively accommodate more than 400 self-paced, independent learners using a combination of blended and self-paced learning using the best-integrated technology available.


Pushing these students to their potential is a community endeavor. Inviting society in is as important as pushing the students out into…  Leadership has found creative ways to do both while shaping an internal community that builds good citizenship, compassion, and responsibility. The school’s unique programming is the foundation. Therefore, to accommodate that programming, the core focus was to provide a modern, tech-forward, and flexible design to meet the school’s multiple and varied needs.


“Q: How does one plan for the unknown—for programming in its infancy with no precedent?
A: In the same way one shapes students for their future.

You take the best of what is current, and with imagination, speculation, and creativity—you build for potential.

We researched, surveyed, and debated everything.
How to keep a large, open space quiet?
How to provide food service with no room for a kitchen?
How to accommodate PE without a gym?

Solutions had to be found, and they had to work!”

School Transformation

Instructional Revolutionary.  Everything about this school breaks the mold of traditional instruction models, and for these kids and educators, it’s working.  By profile, these teachers and students are risk-takers. Something tried that doesn’t work isn’t a failure; it’s a step in the process of building success. It’s also an intellectual pursuit that prepares these students for jobs that don’t exist and creates teachers who can teach with materials we don’t even know about yet.

Stars of Distinction Star of Distinction Category Winner