Northwood Elementary on Mercer Island has been selected for a national Award of Excellence for facility design by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
Northwood, which was designed by Mahlum Architects of Seattle, opened to students a year ago as the first new public school built on the Island in 50 years.
The AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) honored 12 educational facilities that its jurors believe serve as an example “of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals and educational program while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.” Northwood was one of only five projects to receive the Award of Excellence this year.
“Our district is truly honored by this recognition for Northwood,” said Mercer Island School Board President David D’Souza. “The collaboration with Mahlum Architects resulted in a building that not only serves Northwood students, but our entire Island community as well.”
The AIA jurors said Northwood “is a beautiful school. The project takes advantage of its Northwest locale, connecting to the outdoors with the courtyard, porches and ample glazing (windows) in the learning spaces. The plan is thoughtful and well executed with a variety of types and scales of learning environments, and smartly combines the dining/library programs into a connected hub.”
Northwood and Mahlum were previously honored with the Honor Award for 2016 from AIA Seattle for the eco-friendly building design, which includes a green roof, a solar array and radiant floor heating in classrooms.
The Mahlum team led by Rebecca Hutchinson, David Mount and JoAnn Wilcox partnered with the Northwood design team, the Mercer Island School Board, the city’s Design Commission and district staff in creating the building following the community’s historic approval of the 2014 bond proposition. Bayley Construction of Mercer Island served as the general contractor and Brandy Fox of CPM Seattle managed the project for the district.
Aimee Batliner-Gillette is principal and Jill Ravenscraft is associate principal.