Karen Kiest | Elementary School


Title: Question Everything!

Project: Federal Way, WA

Firm: Karen Kiest | Landscape Architects

Summary:  When faced with the need to rebuild schools, The Federal Way Public Schools wanted to find savings wherever it could. According to Rod Leland, director of facilities for Federal Way Public Schools, “We had to sort out what was most important. We created a process to question everything.”

Teachers, school officials and the DLR Group team came up with an ‘archetype’ for designing schools by looking closely at what spaces are really needed. There is a conceptual kit of parts that do not match a traditional design program for schools. According to Noah Greenberg, DLR Group, “Education takes place outside just the classroom. The learning environment is the whole site and so children need to be stimulated everywhere they go.”