Rawlins Elementary School
Size: 147,000 sf
MOA was selected to design the new Rawlins Elementary School to replace three existing elementary schools within the City of Rawlins. The school will be part of Carbon County School District 1, and when fully completed, will serve all of the children within grades K-5. The school will be broken into three separate learning communities each having its own separate identity.
Inspiration for the design comes from three unique characteristics derivative of, and elemental to, the place. First, the WIND shapes life and landform and is a permanent resident of Rawlins and the region. The building mass, specific architectural components and site orientation are configured to minimize the wind’s undesirable characteristics. The site placement also focuses views on points of interest, such as Elk Mountain, that are culturally and aesthetically important to the community.
Second, the Rawlins UPLIFT is an aesthetically pleasing, and geologically fascinating, formation symbiotically tied to Rawlins. The landform embraces and protects the city as it stretches to the north. The tectonics of the uplift are readily observable. Form for the school is derived from, and inspired by, the mechanics that fashioned the uplift. The building’s appearance tells a story about its structure, similar to the narrative the uplift reveals.
Finally, CULTURAL themes give rise to the details within each learning community. Stories, such as the region’s ties to Thomas Edison, become part of the school, so that the building itself serves as an instrument of learning.