Thurston Elementary School

Springfield Public Schools

The gentle, sloping silhouette of this school’s two-story classroom wings mirror the McKenzie River valley’s tree-lined hills to the south and north of the site. Large sheets of exposed, tilt-up concrete create a structural rhythm that expresses the scale of these hills and grounds the building to this place.

Inside, classroom wings are connected by one-story public zones with low rooflines that embrace the K-5 population. Large wood-framed glass walls bring light and views from the outdoors deep into these transparent connectors, which house the entry, library and commons. Rich woodwork reflects the historic importance of the Springfield timber industry, and showcases local craftsmanship.

AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE), Citation (2010) | American Association of School Administrators (AASA)/AIA/CEFPI Annual Architectural Jury, Walter Taylor Award (
AIA Portland Merit Award (2009) | AIA Southwest Oregon, Honor Award (2009) | AIA Southwest Oregon, Colleague’s Choice Award, Interior Architecture (2009) | AIA Southwest Oregon, People’s Choice Award, Interior Architecture (2009) | IIDA Oregon Honor Award for Education (2009) | IIDA Oregon Juror's Choice Award (2009)