Woodburn Elementary School

Camas School District

Camas, WA

Woodburn Elementary School is located on a 12-acre site in the northeast section of Camas on a property with a strong rural-agrarian history that, to a significant degree, continues to the present time. Nestled on the northeast flank of tree-filled Lacamas Park, the partially wooded, partially farmed site is an iconic representation of Camas’ regional history.  The project’s timing also offered a unique opportunity as the new school was to be constructed in advance of the rest of a new neighborhood planned to the west and north of the site. This allowed the project to become a strong anchor for the ongoing residential development, and to become a beloved community center for this growing area of Camas/

The design offers a focused approach to site conditions and the historic context. A substantial 50-foot east to west grade differential, and the natural beauty of Lacamas Park played major roles in determining the best location, orientation, and configuration of the new building, highlighting views and connections to nature.  Integration with site topography, strategic solar orientation, and best use of available land further supplement this notion of a seamless, highly intertwined building and landscape, and separate masses for an Administration Wing, Kindergarten Wing, two Classroom Wings, and a Community Zone offer an appropriate agrarian scale.

In recognition of these sensitivities to historic character, neighborhood interests, and the natural surround, this project became a beloved community fixture, winning the Clark County Community Pride Design Award.