Projects   Building Types Study - Schools K-12
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Teton Science Schools Jackson Campus
Jackson, Wyo.

Campus treads lightly on the landscape

© Mithun

For more photos click on 'photos & drawings' above.

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Teton Science Schools offers a broad range of place-based learning programs to more than 10,000 students each year: a living laboratory for pupils and teachers alike. Its Jackson Campus, the first private accredited K-12 school in Wyoming, offers environmental learning near Grand Teton National Park. Mithun’s integrated design team of architects, landscape architects, and interior designers collaborated with Hawtin Jorgensen Architects to create environmentally intelligent spaces in which teaching and learning fuse with the surrounding wilderness, blurring boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

The Jackson campus comprises nine new buildings including two lodges for children’s summer camps and workshops; classrooms; a dining lodge for all students; three buildings dedicated exclusively to the Journeys School and the Teachers’ Learning Center; a maintenance and storage facility; and a welcome center that also houses administrative offices. The site plan and building designs function as educational tools, respectful of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. In this spirit, the nine campus buildings occupy only a 16.5 acre building site, concentrating development on less than 2 percent of the entire 880-acre wilderness campus.

Teton Science Schools’ wildlife biologists served as consultants to ensure the new landscaping was compatible with native species, and to maximize the school’s exposure to wildlife. School buildings are organized along a “campus trail” at the bottom of a valley, their rooflines parallel the underlying geological strata that formed the valley. The orientation of classrooms permits wildlife viewing along the north-facing slope, which is a habitat for elk, mule deer, and moose.

The design also incorporates green techniques. Facilities used during the daytime, for instance, receive maximum solar exposure on the south-facing slope. Narrow building footprints allow for natural ventilation cooling, daylight harvesting, and photovoltaic panel cladding. The architects limited the use of interior finishes wherever possible, specifying low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and carpets. Walk-off grates and mats at each building entry reduce excessive airborne particulates within the building interiors, reducing the need for mechanical ventilation.

Formal name of Project:
Teton Science Schools Jackson Campus

Jackson, Wyo.

Gross square footage:
63,000 sq. ft.

Teton Science Schools

1201 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98101-2913
206-623-3344 tel.
206-623-7005 fax


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