Integrating arts and sciences to engage students with their role in environmental responsibility
Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences (SAAS) is an independent secondary school with a mission to prepare students for college and life through a curriculum integrating the arts and emphasizing a global perspective. It uses the resources of its urban setting to extend its classrooms, to enhance its programs, and to engage its students in public service. This new building was envisioned as an expression of SAAS’s strong commitment to urban ecology.
The STREAM building (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts and Math) diverges from typical suburban school campus models by organizing the 34,000 square foot program vertically rather than horizontally on a site that is only 7,000 square feet. We took advantage of the small site by creating a tower that defines the corner without overpowering neighboring residences. It engages the street level of this dense urban block with the activity of the shared Learning Commons and flanking laboratories with shared prep rooms above. Because this is an urban campus, security and entry points were a paramount concern, the STREAM building reconciles the floor levels of existing adjoining buildings to develop an internal circulation path that unites all of the buildings on the full-block SAAS campus.
This step in the ongoing development of the SAAS campus has optimized a tiny urban site to include high performance teaching and learning spaces for teachers and students, and an active urban street front to showcase student learning and further engage the campus with its community.