Benjamin Franklin Elementary School
Located in a northwest suburb of Seattle, Washington, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School is a public elementary school for students in Kindergarten - 6th grade. This new school was constructed in 2005 to replace a 1950's structure that once sat in front of the current building.
Mahlum Architects, the Seattle architecture firm that designed Benjamin Franklin Elementary, specializes in designing educational buildings. As architect Anne Schopf explains, "this was meant to be a building that relates to its neighborhood, to the nearby forest, and to the surrounding natural environment in the Pacific northwest."
The new school includes three clusters of classrooms - one for kindergarten and grades 1 and 2; another for grades 3 and 4; and a third for grades 5 and 6. These classroom clusters create two courtyards surrounded by hallways lined with glass.
June 2004. The new site, behind the existing school, is prepared for construction.
June 2004. Concrete is poured for the foundations of the new school.
September 2004. Steel frame of the classrooms.
October 2004. Walls made from steel studs are put in place.
October 2004. Work continues on the steel stud walls. The steel x-bracing provide additional support for the frame.
December 2004. Steel frame of the library.
February 2005. The classroom walls are covered with a moisture barrier and the windows are installed.
March 2005. Drywall is put in place on the library walls. The clerestory windows let natural light into the space from above.
March 2005. Insulation is installed on the walls surrounding the courtyard.
April 2005. Windows are installed in the common areas outside the classrooms.
May 2005. Work continues on the interior of the cafeteria. The air ventilation system is installed.
School nameBenjamin Franklin Elementary School
ClientLake Washington School District
Grade levelsGrades K - 6
Number of students500 students
Building size56,800 square feet
Previously on this siteThe new school was constructed in the open space directly behind the original 1950's building. When the new building was finished, the old school was demolished.
ArchitectMahlum Architects. Seattle, WA
Timeline / Project schedulebuilding completed August 2005
The firm of Mahlum Architects began in Seattle in 1938, with architects Edward Mahlum, AIA and Paul Hayden Kirk, FAIA joining forces in the early years of the firm.
Today Mahlum is led by Design Partner Anne Schopf, FAIA; Managing Partner Gerald Reifert, FAIA; and Operations Partner Diane Shiner, AIA.The firm has won over 65 professional awards in 2011.
Typical projects for the firm include: healthcare facilities, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, civic buildings, and commercial buildings.