Active Learning, Passive House

The Bush School New Upper School

Seattle, WA

A Connected Educational Journey

This intimate classroom building demonstrates the school’s collaborative educational philosophy and ambitious commitment to sustainability. The design introduces a fresh identity and cohesive addition to the campus fabric, gracefully framing the adjacent historic Gracemont building and connecting to an Olmsted-designed boulevard to the east.

Upper School Community Heart

Seminar-style classrooms pair with informal break-out spaces for small group learning and connect students to views of the forested hillside and Lake Washington. At the lower level, a flexible multi-purpose room provides central dining and gathering space sized to accommodate the entire Upper School community.

Exemplary Sustainable Performance

The building and landscape serve as learning laboratories, maximizing natural light and healthy materials, conserving water and energy, and incorporating green stormwater systems. The structure utilizes mass plywood decking and panels to reduce embodied carbon and optimize efficiency. The project is on track to be the first Passive House school on the West Coast and the largest in the country.

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