FNI led a district wide process in Boulder, Colorado to develop Guiding Principles for Innovation in Learning that guided the pedagogical and learning environment design of all schools in the district. FNI served as the design architect, and worked in collaboration with the executive architect, RB+B Architects, to design this 62,000 sqft school that accommodates 480 students ranging from Pre- Kindergarten through 5th grade.
The design concept for Emerald Elementary School was inspired by student drawings of Emerald as castle in the forest surrounded by a moat, and protected by the Emerald dragon. The moat became a dry creek bed for storm water management, and the forest is the expansive play landscape in front of the school. Inside, a central hearth welcomes visitors and students alike. The traditional library is reimagined as the Curiosity Center – a 21st century media and resource hub that fuels student curiosity and provides a place for gathering. Located at the heart of the school, the Curiosity Center is visible from the main entrance and positioned between all Learning Communities, becoming a visible symbol of learning.