Mount Si High School

NAC Architecture

 

The Mount Si High School replacement project was born out of an engaged school community that wanted a first-class, 21st Century educational experience for their students. The campus nests in the shadow of its namesake mountain, as well as within the Snoqualmie River floodway. To respond to those aspirations and natural conditions, the design evolved with three key notions.
Resilience was an immediate factor. Design solutions required an elevated building to get occupied space above the flood elevation.
Fostering relationships was an essential premise in organizing the campus in seven buildings. Breaking the scale works in conjunction with creating a series of small learning communities where distributed shared spaces encourage interaction and student collaboration. These spaces supporting a progressive, STEM-based environment will give students an interdisciplinary, project-based experience. Therefore a critical aspect of the project was to utilize programming that reduces the perceived size of the school.
Furthering that goal, providing a stimulating experiential quality on such a large project was a significant challenge. The whole campus was designed through the principle of prospect and refuge throughout the exterior and interior. Flow of "negative" spaces accommodates small and large group gathering, independent and group study, and informal social interactions. The notions of scale and distance constantly overlap, from engaging the natural framework of the surrounding mountains all the way to the reflective gardens on the platform. Interior spaces of varied scales meander throughout the common areas and the individual buildings, providing ample spaces for extroverts and introverts alike. 

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