Eisenhower Elementary School

  • LOCATION: Vancouver, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2006


Eisenhower Elementary School is an existing facility replacement for Vancouver Public Schools that draws the best elements from previous projects into a facility focused on flexibility, user comfort, and learning. The 68,000 sq. ft. school creates a variety of venues for instruction and collaboration; classroom “pods” have common spaces for multi-classroom activities and smaller, transparent co-op areas for team projects. Technology tools, including networked computers and mobile presentation stations, are ubiquitous in the school, and each classroom has a vocal enhancement system to reduce vocal stress for teachers and to improve the students’ ability to hear.

In its residential setting, the exterior design of the building is meant to enhance the surrounding area and provide the students with a connection to nature. A beautiful school-neighborhood park shares the site thanks to a partnership with Vancouver/Clark Parks & Recreation. In an effort to relate with the neighborhood and seem more approachable, the school appears to be a single story structure from the street. The back side of the school is two stories with a large window wall that creates a daylight-filled main staircase, offering students and visitors beautiful views of the park and Mt. St. Helens.

Integration of daylight was given special consideration in the building design. Clerestory windows blanket the entry in daylight and allow it to reach central spaces through glass block walls. In classrooms, sunlight enters through strategically placed windows, while translucent skylights introduce natural light into the main floor co-ops.