Kaiserslautern Elementary School

Department of Defense Education Activity

The new Kaiserslautern Elementary School showcases the Department of Defense Education Activity’s (DoDEA) dedication to transforming the learning environment for children of military families by creating spaces that are flexible, adaptable and facilitate multi-modal learning. With the aim of replacing an outdated campus that had served the Kapaun Air Station for five decades, DoDEA sought to construct a school that would align with the demands of the 21st century.

The school is designed to foster hands-on learning opportunities through the use of state-of-the-art technology, flexible furniture and adaptable academic spaces, which accommodate a variety of learning styles, including project based learning, small and large group collaboration, science and digital education.
Hands-on learning is activated in the studios through technology, flexible furniture and transparent operable partitions which allow spaces to be reconfigured easily to accommodate interdisciplinary education. Natural light is brought into the learning neighborhoods by way of organic skylights.
High windows in the cafeteria bring in natural daylight, meeting both German code requirements and safety and security best practices.
The dynamic activity commons extends beyond the learning studios, serving as a central hub that connects each learning community within the school. This space accommodates a range of activities, including small and large group interactions, school assemblies, performances, and community events.

The traditional school media center has been reimagined as a Global Information Center, providing students with a collaborative and technology-rich environment, equipped with touchscreen learning devices and flexible furniture.
To engage students in a deeper understanding of sustainability, the school design extends beyond traditional approaches. Rainwater cisterns, views into the landscape and energy dashboards are integrated, allowing students to observe and learn from the inner workings of sustainable systems.

Awards

  • 2014 Honorable Mention,¬†School Planning & Management
  • 2013 Citation of Excellence,¬†Learning By Design