Fairview Elementary, Denver, Colorado
Goodland, Marianne, “UCD Architecture Students Design Fairview Park: Project Revitalizes Long-Ignored City Neighborhood”, The Silver & Gold, September 13, 2001
Intentions: This service-learning project was part of an annual school-wide contest to design, then build a structure for a local community, in this case a nearby grades school in rough part of town. The school wanted a shade structure and outdoor classroom that would not be a safety hazard for children or local residents after hours. My partner and I used the word “gathering” as our defining concepts and used circles in plan and in elevation to draw people into the center. Our winning design was chosen based on both its aesthetics and its strict adherence to the school’s programming requirements.
Functional Results: The structure provide shade for parents watching kids in the nearby playground as well as sporting events on the opposite side. The materials are durable and hold up well to the weather as well as possible vandalism. The roof is intentionally not rain proof, however, discouraging the homeless from taking shelter there and causing problems for the elementary school children.
Aesthetic Results: The double roof is designed to allow maximum sun into the space during winter, and be completely shaded during summer. The high roof is shifted to the north and east, thus allowing more pleasant morning light in while the lower roof is shifted to the south and west, thus blocking more of the harsher afternoon sun. Round columns, benches forming circles and radii, and the steel I-beams are set at varying lengths creating other welcoming curves. Recesses in the concrete columns were made to house local students’ ceramic tiles, thus making the structure more a part of the community.