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Vashon Island High School

Integrus Architecture

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Vashon Island School District


  • Civil Engineer: LPD Engineering
  • Landscape Architect: Cascade Design Collaborative
  • Mechanical Engineer: Interface Engineering
  • Electrical Engineer: Interface Engineering
  • Owner's Rep: Goforth Gill Architects
  • Construction Manager: Heery
  • General Contractor: Skanska, USA

Year Completed

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Project Description


Supporting a Culture of Learning

This new high school is the product of its place and people. Located on a small island in Puget Sound, its community has an enduring sense of their unique culture, with its natural beauty, geographic isolation, and artistic vitality.

Conversations with the community led to an understanding of the close connection to the landscape that students and staff embraced in their daily lives. The design team sought to preserve this sense of connection by imparting a quality of porosity to the new building. The concept of porosity defines how the building supports spatial connections, how students move in and out of the building, and ultimately how the students themselves become the life force of the building and its site. The result is an overlapping fabric of inner and outer spaces animated by light, transparency, and movement.

Learning occurs anywhere - and everywhere - with a wide variety of learning spaces distributed throughout the entire school and campus. Shared areas, (dubbed “The Dens” by students) are located adjacent to more formal teaching spaces, a Learning Commons extends the Library into the life of the student body, and a small group presentation room is perched within the Learning Commons. A central courtyard provides sheltered outdoor learning areas, and found spaces throughout the building - including areas outside of counciling offices, at the base of stairs, in widened corridors, and across the commons bridge - are all used for individual and small group work.

Together, this collection of student-centered spaces projects the optimism of the island community towards its students by honoring them with features that facilitate their learning activities, including technology access, whiteboards and projectors for presentations, sinks, and soft seating.
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