Cleveland, Ohio – October 1, 2017 LEARNING BY DESIGN has released its much-anticipated Fall 2017 edition, showcasing the nation’s best education design and construction projects, from pre-K to 12 to college and university facilities. Five top education facility design projects were awarded Grand Prize Awards, six Citation of Excellence Awards, and six Honorable Mention Awards.

A distinguished panel of six architects, and education administrators and facility professionals reviewed 68 outstanding submissions and selected five Grand Prize Award-winning facilities that “are simply amazing projects.” Each of the five projects combined all the elements that make a learning environment successful—transparency, connectivity, safety, sustainability, great interiors, purposeful functional design, and sophistication.

The five Grand Prize awards where bestowed on:

  1. CTA Architects Engineers, (Denver, CO) for Laramie County Community College (LCCC)--Flex-tech Building (Cheyenne, WY); 
  2. Eppstein Uhen Architects, (Madison, WI) for Waunakee Intermediate School(Waunakee, WI); 
  3. Grimm + Parker Architects, (Calverton, MD) for Discovery STEM Academy(Newport News, VA); 
  4. NAC Architecture(Seattle, WA) for Hazel Wolf K-8 ESTEM School(Seattle, WA); 
  5. Perkins Eastman DC(Washington DC) for Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School(Washington, DC).

 Some of the juror’s comments included:

  • Discovery STEM Academy (Grimm + Parker Architects) – “A lot of nicely varied innovative hands-on educational spaces appear to be provided inside and out: outdoor classroom, outdoor learning area, amphitheater, student vegetable garden…”
  • Hazel Wolf K-8 ESTEM School (NAC Architecture) – “Love the outdoor learning and play areas. Very relevant program and mission”
  • Laramie County Community College (LCCC)--Flex-tech Building(CTA Architects Engineers) – "The design  nicelysupports the functions and the balance of visual interest with durable materials.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School (Perkins Eastman DC) – “Beautiful restoration and renovation of old High School achieving the stated goals to undo past damage while creating truly modern learning environments; great sustainability story!
  • Waunakee Intermediate School (Eppstein Uhen Architects) – “Neighborhood/village concept and ties to the farm community are evident.  Feels 'elevated' and sophisticated but also connected to region and landscape.”



  • Pathways Innovation Center and Roosevelt High School (Casper, WY), Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. (Denver, CO)
  • Stuart-Hobson Middle School (Washington, D.C.), Hughes Group Architects (Sterling, VA)
  • Richland Two Institue of Innovation (Columbia, SC), LS3P (Columbia, SC)
  • Canadian Valley Technology Center - El Reno Campus(El Reno, OK), MA+ Architecture, LLC (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (Houston, TX), PBK (Houston, TX)
  • Grand Rapids Community College Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory (Grand Rapids, MI), Stantec Architecture Inc. (Berkley, MI)

 Fall 2017: HONORABLE MENTION Awards

  • Butler Elementary School (Cottonwood Heights, UT) - VCBO Architecture (Salt Lake City  UT)
  • Capitol Federal Hall (Lawrence, KS) – Gensler (Chicago, IL)
  • Central Washington University, Science II (Ellensburg, WA) - Integrus Architecture (Spokane, WA)
  • Emeryville Center of Community Life (Emeryville, CA) -Nexus Partners - dsk | Concordia | MKThink (New Orleans, LA)
  • Prairie Winds Middle School (Mankato, MN) - Wold Architects and Engineers (St Paul, MN)
  • Ross Shaw Sterling Aviation High School (Houston, TX)- Stantec (Austin, TX)


LEARNING BY DESIGN, published in the Spring and Fall each year, circulates to more than 50,000 leaders and decision makers at all levels of education—from early childhood and elementary schools to career-technical, college, and university-level institutions. For details and to access the magazine’s digital edition, visit

The new facility hopes to be a hub for engineering innovation on campus—an aim that’s directly built into its design. “This space is all about reinforcing the relationship between the building and the community and engineering,” explains project designer Alex O’Briant, associate partner of Ennead Architects. “Everywhere you look you see an exposed concrete structural frame, you see roof tresses that form a glass roof, you see this exposed steel on the skybridge … so no matter where you turn, there’s reinforcing of the importance of engineering in the architecture.”


"The potential for collaboration is built into the building design as well. “We designed this space with as many different social and study spaces as possible on all three floors,” O’Briant says. And the classroom layout is meant to reinforce the design thinking process, moving from rooms centered on early stage ideation with cardboard and pipe cleaners, to testing rooms with electronic equipment, to an arena where objects can roam or fly if they need to."

Read more in The ALCALDE

Photos courtesy of Cockrell School of Engineering/The University of Texas at Austin

GLOBAL INNOVATIONS IN PLACE:  Come join your colleagues as the Association for Learning Environments hosts the event of the year for those who plan, design, equip, furnish, and maintain places where students learn. October 26-29, 2017 | Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA

LearningSCAPES offers it all – groundbreaking educational sessions, inspiring keynotes and a showcase of state-of-the-art tools that move learning into the future. REGISTER TODAY!

LearningSCAPES will also host the single most important market place for suppliers of educational furniture, flooring, technology, and the widest array of products used in places where children learn.

Need CEU’s? With over 50 learning sessions, LearningSCAPES offers the most in the business – all at one location, at one time. REGISTER TODAY!

Association for Learning Environment’s mission is to connect those who passion is to create the best possible learning spaces that encourage innovation, critical thinking, collaborative teamwork and other skills that will empower students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. REGISTER TODAY!

In Finland, classroom design offers a radical departure from the norm

"Many students who recently headed back to class from kesäloma — summer vacation — were left in a disoriented state. While the actual buildings that many pupils returned to remained the same, the interiors of said buildings had been dramatically revamped: walls torn down, desks and chalkboards hauled away and the entire notion of what students thought an academic setting should look like turned on its head."

As part of a pointed leap away from traditional classroom arrangements, a handful of Finnish schools were redesigned over the summer to better reflect a new national core curriculum. In fact, Finnish education officials are loath to refer to the things-formerly-known-as-classrooms as such. Instead, they’re now called “learning environments” as they only scantly resemble the neat-rows-of desks-and-chalkboard set-up found the world over.


Read more about how "flexible, free-form arrangements to bolster learning” are the new norm." at the Mother Nature Network

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has announced the winners of the 2017 CAE Education Facility Design Awards, honoring the year’s best educational facilities that “serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals, and educational program, while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.”

“Education continues to evolve, and the projects from this year’s Education Facility Design Awards program—presented by the AIA and the Committee on Architecture for Education—represent the state-of-the-art learning environments being developed in today's learning spaces,” explain the AIA. “These projects showcase innovation across the entire learning continuum, displaying how today's architects are creating cutting-edge spaces that enhance modern pedagogy.”

From early childhood facilities to higher education and throughout the learning continuum, architecture can be used to inspire learners, educators, administrators, and campus communities alike. This year’s five Awards of Excellence and seven Awards of Merit were vibrant examples of the contemporary educational architecture.

See the 12 winning projects.

Volume 26/Fall 2017 

Check out the digital edition 
Review all Articles & 68 Award Winners:

Volume 26/Fall 2017 - Supplement



10.25.2017 - 10.27.2017
EDspaces 2017


10.26.2017 - 10.29.2017
A4LE - 2017 LearningSCAPES Conference

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For strategies on how to maximize your company’s reach to education design and construction market contact Alison Bashian (800.335.7500 x21).

The award-winning publication circulates to 50,000+ leaders and decision makers at all levels of education—from early childhood thru high schools to college and university-level institutions.

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