At the time that it was built, the Windham Primary School was the largest K-2 primary school in the United States. With 1,000 students, it could have been overwhelming for 4-7-year-olds.
The qualities of a small neighborhood school were retained by organizing the building into three “houses,” each with 330 students (who stay in the same house all four years) and its own rooms for special education, reading, teachers, and student resources.
Each house has its own bus drop-off, student entry, stairs, elevator, exterior courtyard, and central HVAC system.
Classrooms are separated by operable walls to allow for paired team teaching, and the entire building is barrier-free, with ramps on the mall corridor and barrier-free sinks and toilets.
This age group requires particular attention to acoustics; specialized insulation, acoustic panels, and extensive carpeting were used to dampen noise.
A difficult site with islands of trees and ledge outcroppings along the front drive breaks views of the size and length of the building and reinforces the small scale of each house.