Conn Elementary School

  • area / size 108,856 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Clark Nexsen utilized bright colors and natural light to complete the Conn Elementary School in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    The magnet theme of entrepreneurial design at Conn Elementary School is expressed in both in the programmatic elements and layout of the building as well as in the overall design aesthetic. In an effort to maximize the learning environment, the whole building becomes a teaching tool for students. Structure and systems are intentionally left exposed in many areas, allowing students to explore the skeleton and inter-workings of the facility. In all collaborative areas, students can look up to see the structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical elements exposed to different degrees.

    The exterior of the building is the public face, introducing and linking the larger community to the tight-knit Conn community. This design is playful in its volumetric forms and the strategic use of “Conn yellow” metal panels to highlight the main entry and classroom wings. Play areas are available for community use during after-school hours, inviting the surrounding neighborhoods to explore the fields and play structures. Nestled within residential neighborhoods, Conn Elementary is truly serving as a connection point and community resource to students and neighbors alike. Through areas like the learning commons, video production room, and maker space, Conn cultivates a culture in which students can “problem-solve while confidently taking risks, explore new ideas, identify improvements, utilize a design thinking approach, be innovative, and fail forward.”

    Design: Clark Nexsen
    Construction Manager: Rodgers Builders
    Photography: Mark Herboth