Condit Elementary is Selected as a Finalist for SXSWedu Learn by Design Awards

Austin, Texas ' On February 3rd, SXSWedu announced the finalists for their first ever design awards program called 'Learn by Design.' Focused on the design of learning spaces and how they impact the students and teachers, projects are chosen based on their innovative design solutions within education. Of the three categories: conceptual, experiential, and physical, Houston ISD's Condit Elementary was chosen as an 'experiential' finalist. This category highlights projects that create collaborative learning environments, and one of the most interactive features of the new Condit Elementary School is their 'Learning Commons.' This open concept library replaces the traditional library design, and weaves throughout the whole building like a ribbon.

In addition to the 'Learning Commons,' VLK designed this two-story replacement facility to also feature open collaborative spaces, classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, and flexible furniture that can be configured in a variety of different ways.

'I believe architecture is graded by the emotion it strikes in its users,' said Richard Hunt, AIA, LEED AP, and VLK Project Designer. 'With Condit, one of my primary intents was to key in on how the children would feel as they used the space. My hope is that they feel it is playful, colorful, and the building invokes a desire within them to go to school. The open space, vibrant paint colors, and curving walls are all intended to create a playhouse, fun environment for the students, so they can feel at ease and be excited to learn.'

On March 7th, representatives for each of the projects listed as a finalist are asked to give a presentation on their project and answer questions from a panel of judges. Presenting on behalf of the team will be Condit Elementary School Principal, Dan Greenberg, VLK Principal, Tim Kunz, AIA, NCARB, and VLK Project Designer, Richard Hunt, AIA, LEED AP. One winner from each category will be selected and announced.

'There is a special feel to Condit Elementary, and I think you feel it right when you walk in,' said Condit Principal, Dan Greenberg. 'This school is unlike any other and that makes us very proud. Being a part of the team that worked with VLK to design our new campus was equal parts exciting and informational. It wasn't enough to have something look great, we needed this space to be functional and support the teaching and learning we want to happen at Condit.'