The Clark Middle School project came with built-in limits and complexities which required innovative design approaches to meet multiple objectives. The 180,000 square-foot facility needed to support a student body that spoke more than 45 languages, with many coming from families in lower-to-middle income brackets. The challenge posed by the school district was for the interior design to inspire students to achieve higher levels of academic excellence as well as establish an inclusive environment for students, parents and faculty.
Spiral Design collaborated with the architect to develop the interior architecture, along with finish materials and color selections. Multiple meetings with students, staff and the community enabled the team to better understand what was required to create a crisp, clean and culturally-neutral urban school.
Spiral Design embraced the vibrant orange, green and red colors preferred by the community and worked through design challenges it offered through a neutral background palette and use of custom designed carpets and carefully-placed art projects. Creative use of the colors, in balance with the blue and yellow school colors, resulted in a vibrant, full-spectrum environment designed to keep middle school students alert and engaged.
The interior finishes and colors also support the upbeat, contemporary architecture of the school and reinforce the focus on academic and design excellence. Ample display space was provided for the students to share their achievements, explore their interests and develop common goals. The Clark Middle School facility was completed in 2009 at a cost of $51 million and was ultimately awarded the K-12 Grand Prize from School Planning & Management and prominently published in their prestigious Design Professional Showcase.