Cleveland, Ohio – April 1, 2017 LEARNING BY DESIGN has released its much-anticipated Spring 2017 edition, showcasing the nation’s best education design and construction projects, from pre-K to 12 to college and university facilities. Three outstanding design projects were awarded Grand Prize in the Spring 2017 edition: Bassetti Architects, (Seattle, WA) for Arbor Heights School (Seattle, WA); Perkins Eastman, (Boston, MA) for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School (Cambridge, MA) and Stantec Architecture (Charlottesville, VA) for Frederick County Middle School (Winchester, VA).

The distinguished panel of seven architects, school and university planners, administrators and facility professionals reviewed 59 outstanding submissions and selected three Grand Prize Award-winning facilities that “are simply amazing projects” These three projects combine all the elements that make a learning environment successful—transparency, connectivity, safety, sustainability, great interiors, purposeful functional design, and sophistication.

LEARNING BY DESIGN commended Bassetti Architects for its success in designing the Arbor Heights School, a synthesis of the school’s pioneering Environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (E-STEM) program.

The jury commented that "the design firm provided real measurable outcomes to understand the design philosophy to the needs of the school. The openness is appealing and inviting yet the smaller more individualized areas are refreshing and just as appealing.  One could easily see the mission of anytime learning being implemented through this facility.” The design supports the specific needs of 21st century learning; is cost and energy-efficient, highly flexible, durable, and sustainable; and will serve as a beacon for the community for generations to come.

Judges applauded Perkins Eastman fortheir design of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School a21st-century, technology-rich, learning environment that has become the center of the Cambridge Public Schools’ (CPS) community.

The Jury thought highly of this project especially pointing out that "the project makes a very strong case for its embodied innovations”. They particularly liked the many ways that the buildings construction is used as a teaching device. “The mission and messaging of the educational environment is clear and present engaging teaching and learning at all levels. The design of nooks and alcoves is impressive, personal, and invites learning sustainability measures are well conceived and implemented.  A thoughtful well-crafted design.  Love the exterior screen on the stair tower."

Jurors where extremely impressed by Stantec Architecture for its design of the Frederick County Middle School. This school is an aspirational student-centric vision that balanced the need for a practical, affordable, sustainable solution with current research on effective teaching and learning, adolescent brain science, nutrition, health and well-being.

The Jury comments about this project included: "Excellent overall design. The scale and finish of the break-out rooms is very welcoming.  Excellent use of outdoor space in between volumes. The project has defined goals and performing a post occupancy evaluation as part of the process is appreciated. Site lines and building layout are purposeful and meant to engage and protect. They really liked the open "book store/library" near the learning stair - nice feature." The wide variety of unique features integrated into the design of this project where organized around the themes of learning, sustainability, and wellness.




  • DLR Group (Minneapolis, MN) for Legacy High School (Bismarck, ND)      
  • Stantec Architecture (Houston, TX) for Robert R. Shaw Center for STEAM (Katy, TX)


  • Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (Cambridge, MA) for Bancroft Elementary School (Andover, MA)     


  • McGranahan Architects (Tacoma, WA) for Advanced Technology Center (Tacoma, WA) 


Spring 2017: HONORABLE MENTION Awards


  • Jones Whitsett Architects (Greenfield, MA) for Colesgrove Park Elementary School (North Adams, MA)


  • Studio Bondy Architecture (Oakland, CA) for Hilltop Spec School (Richmond, CA)

High Schools

  • Parkin Architects Limited (Ottawa, ON) for Tuugaalik High School (Naujaat, Nunavut CANADA)


  • Bryant University (Smithfield, RI) for Bryant University-Academic Innovation Center (Smithfield, RI)




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

Volume 26/Fall 2017 

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

Volume 26/Fall 2017 - Supplement



6:00 pm 02.26.2018 - 7:00 pm 02.28.2018
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03.04.2018 - 12.06.2017
SCUP 2018 North Atlantic Regional Conference


03.11.2018 - 12.14.2017
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04.11.2018 - 12.14.2017
Association for Learning Environments Northeast Region (A4LE-NE)


11.07.2018 - 11.09.2018
EDspaces 2018

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The award-winning publication circulates three times a year 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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