Spring Mountain

Elementary School

Elementary School

Happy Valley, Oregon

Go Back

Located on a site with an average 14% slope, BBL Architects strategically designed the building to balance the amount of site excavation & fill while maximizing areas of level playing fields and parking. Community concerns of impacting neighboring views were answered by nuzzling the building into the side of the hill, appearing friendlier to nearby residences. By turning the slope into a feature, the large capacity, two-story building appears to be single-story with external access to both levels as well as maximized views and natural lighting in the interior spaces.

The slope added an extra challenge for interior circulation. Twenty-four classrooms are organized into four “neighborhoods” that make this large school feel smaller in use. These classrooms gather natural daylight through a step-back floor plan that allows each classroom to have corner windows and additional windows on 2 walls of each classroom. This reduces glare and enhances the views to the surrounding valley. The classroom neighborhoods flank a vaulted central Media Center, restrooms and other common use areas to create a centrally located secure gathering place. When not in their own classroom, all common use areas pull students towards the secure center of the building, which is continually monitored from the desks of front office staff.

similar projects