Positive Tomorrows School for Homeless Children
Oklahoma city, US
people's choice winner people's choice
final winner final winner
Category
Education
Year
2019
Project Size
Large
Firm Name
MA Architecture
Firm address
Oklahoma city, US
Photographer
Simon Hurst Photography

Project Description

The design of the new school for Positive Tomorrows is a response to the unique needs of the homeless students and families they serve. The space is designed to support social services as well as the schools ‘High Structure – High Love’ curriculum. The design achieves a sense of home rather than an institutional setting and a campus where learning opportunities can happen anywhere. Names given to the spaces are inspired by areas commonly found in a home setting like, the Family Room, Living Room, and Backyard. The student’s contributions to the design are evident throughout the space. One example is a graphic wall within the Maker Space which features floor plans, originally hand-drawn by the students during a sketching exercise. The space fosters stability, considers circulation needs, and promotes organic, easy to follow routines for the students. An open-space concept creates a safe atmosphere where students are easily monitored while specialized learning spaces cultivate enriching learning opportunities. Areas like a Food Lab, Maker Space, Literacy Lab, and an Art/Music classroom are dedicated to experimentation, problem solving, and cultural heritage curriculum ensuring the students are given the opportunity to explore activities that promote life-long learning and curiosity. The work Positive Tomorrows has done, and continues to do for their surrounding community, is invaluable. As Oklahoma's only elementary school specifically for homeless children, they give kids stability and a quality education while their parents get the support they need to create a better life. Since 1989, they have been a part of countless success stories, but the need continues and the Positive Tomorrows team is working to expand their services with their new increased capacity. Positive Tomorrows’ mission to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty endures and has been strengthened by the support their brand-new building has created. This project brings homelessness to the forefront and continues the conversation on how homeless students’ education needs can be better met.