LIVE OAK ELEMENTARY
Dougherty County School System
Program Summary: Live Oak Elementary is situated on a 30 acre abandoned agricultural tract near Albany, Georgia. Challenged by the Dougherty County School System (DCSS) to design “a school like no other in the State of Georgia,” the design team sought to create a school strongly rooted in its sense of place while underscoring the DCSS motto “Pursuing Excellence” by way of careful site evaluation, program analysis, and thoughtful form-giving.
Design Statement: The desire to provide abundant, high-quality light to the learning units drove the school's organization. In order to achieve this, three two-story rectangular classroom “houses” were oriented east-west and arranged around courtyards. Classrooms feature two oversized window openings, totaling over 90 square feet, that are oriented north or south. South-facing windows were equipped with continuous sunshades to filter glare and mitigate solar gain. Each “house” was provided a unique, bold coloration to aid way-finding and help students identify with their "house.” The “houses” were linked with one another and with other programmatic elements by an internal street dubbed “the runway” stretching north-south. The eastern edge of the runway was conceived as a four foot thick spine running the entire length of the school to accommodate building services such as mechanical and electrical closets and duct chases. The spine manifests itself on the exterior as a series of forty-foot high concrete planes and is crimped to allow the building a natural, organic shape in plan.