ED lab INC
Robin Randall

Lincoln Elementary School

“Layered walls reveal corner windows for every classroom”

Architect: FGM Architects
Senior Designer: Robin Randall
Photography: Craig Dugan Photography
Client: Cicero School District 99

Completed in 2010
Science of Learning:
The plan diagram for the 70,000 SF, two story addition reflects the original 1930’s school building and the 1952 addition by creating houses or wings for each of the grade levels (Pre K through sixth grade). The exterior articulation is inspired by the 1930’s crenellation and the Chicago bungalows across the street. Layers of exterior brick walls push and pull, creating variations in learning environments within. Colored accents enhance the window alcoves and entry portals. Rhythms, colors, and patterns stimulate learning and organize the spaces into diverse volumes and comfort zones.

Language of Nature:
Community use two story volumes of library and cafeteria overlook outdoor classroom courtyards harvesting sunlight and views. Paving patterns within the courtyards articulate a labyrinth and a golden section to be traced both physically on the first floor and mentally from the second floor. Street trees, landscape trees, and plantings reflect the spacing of the layered walls. Louvered sun shades prevent heat gain on south facing window walls. This project was designed to LEED certification standards.

Art of Innovation:
Indirect energy efficient lighting is aligned and reflects light off the acoustical panels wrapping up the wall and across the ceilings. Round light fixtures highlight circulation intersections as do color accent walls. Smart Board technology is available in every classroom and specialize tiered floor computer lab is available to the community for training. The Cafeteria doubles as an Auditorium when the movable partition opens to Multi Purpose Room to create a stage for performance. Flexible furniture within the classrooms accommodates multiple team seating arrangements.

FGM Architects Awards:
  • 2011 AIA Northeast Illinois, Merit Award, Distinguished Building Category
  • 2011 ENR Midwest, Best of 2011 Awards, K-12 Category
  • 2011 Chicago Building Congress, Merit Award Finalist, Construction Under $10 Million
  • 2011 ASID Design Excellence Awards, Honorable Mention, Institutional Category
  • 2011 Illinois Association of School Boards, Exhibition of Educational Environments, Merit Award