Cunningham | Quill created a campus plan for a non-profit organization seeking to expand their education program to include multi-generation housing and community facilities. Currently operating in an abandoned public elementary school on a 14-acre site, the current program includes a Montessori Elementary, a Family Leadership School, and housing for single-parent families.
The property, on a sloping site, is in the middle of a residential neighborhood and is adjacent to a public park. Due to the siting and grading of the existing school, which has caused continual soil eroision and storm water runoff problems, the existing plan was not effective.
Through a series of charettes, CQA developed a plan that translates the mission of the organization into a viable sustainable community. The new program includes a community building and elementary school that serves the neighborhood and all families on campus.
The new education and community buildings are organized around an open court that faces the public park. A series of pedestrian paths and gardens run central to the campus, connecting housing throughout the site. The storm water runoff issues were reconfigured as resources: collection and recycling of water via rain gardens along walkways. The plan also creates access to the creek for outdoor learning opportunities.