Sánchez Elementary School Modernization

  • area / size 80,341 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • Location Austin, Texas, , United States
  • McKinney York Architects designed the colorful and functional modernization at Sánchez Elementary School for students in Austin, Texas.

    A significant challenge in the renovation of George I. Sánchez Elementary was to create a modern learning environment that embraced the community’s historic roots and values in a meaningful way Just east of IH-35 in downtown Austin, this neighborhood school required an inclusive design that celebrated its bilingual Spanish-English culture; reconciled historic East-West disparities; and incorporated the community’s voiced values of equity, flexibility, and connectivity.

    This theme of duality informed the design concept and resulted in a reconfigured circulation spine connecting the communal gathering spaces – Dining, Fitness, Learning Stair, Library – and extends outward to culminate in welcoming canopies at the East and West entries. The motif of a double-headed snake, symbolizing growth and transformation, is manifested through undulating, banded slats which wrap the communal spaces and extends through the roof – a striking serpentine “billboard” promoting the school. Strategic use of colors, patterns and textures add richness on a tight budget.

    Design: McKinney York Architects
    Contractor: Flintco Construction
    Photography: Leonid Furmansky