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.
Benjamin Franklin Elementary School
Lake Washington School District
Grades K - 6
Number of students
56,800 square feet
Previously on this site
The 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.
Mahlum Architects. Seattle, WA
Timeline / Project schedule
building completed August 2005
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.
Define the Problem
October 2004. Work continues on the steel stud walls. The steel x-bracing provide additional support for the frame.
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.
Meet the Architects
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.