The A4E Story: Learning In Action

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The A4E Story: Learning in Action

A4E Leadership

Gaylaird Christopher, FAIA Founding Principal / President

Rachel Adams, AIA, LEED AP Managing Principal / Partner

Olivia Graf Doyle Design Principal / Partner

Gaylaird Christopher, A4E President and Founder, is a recognized leader in the planning and design of educational facilities. Mr. Christopher has over forty years experience in the transformation and new construction of education projects. He encourages clients to envision the future for their students and community. Mr. Christopher presents and speaks on contemporary options in facilities design and funding at numerous national and international events and is the recipient of numerous design awards from state and national organizations.

Rachel Adams, A4E’s Managing Principal, leads all project management efforts and is a proven expert in educational facilities project delivery. With every project, she practices an open collaborative approach with administrators, site staff, students, parents and the community. Her expertise delivers facilities that draw on local construction resources, boosting the economy and saving clients time and resources, while building exceptional learning environments.

Olivia Graf Doyle, Design Principal, leads the A4E studio in programming and design. As a thoughtful and creative educational facilities designer, she brings a contemporary, designforward approach to each project. She skillfully meets client, user, and project requirements with distinctive designs that serve and inspire. She believes architecture should physically express learning through material, function, and form. Ms. Graf Doyle creates signature design standards that embody client goals, culture, mission, and budget.

Architecture for Education Inc. We create learning environments that inspire. Our designs are driven by social purpose, positively impacting education, community, and the environment. The quality of our work endures.


We create learning environments that make a difference for students. Our architecture inspires curiosity, imagination, and wonder.


Pack your bags. Let’s begin. The reward at journey’s end: a contemporary learning environment that fulfills the shared expectations of your students and their community. Our ‘A4E Story’ will take you on an exploration of possibilities – reflective of a student’s growth from grades K through 12 and beyond. Along the way, we’ll show you how the A4E team puts our facilities and funding expertise to work for our clients.


in H ere







PROGRAMMING & PLANNING A school is the most influential building in the world. Outside of the home, a school campus is the first structured environment a child will experience, introducing young students to the larger world and their unique place within it. Our work begins with an understanding of how students learn, and what entices them to know more and to pursue individual study interests. Our work is inspired by the curiosity inherent in all children; our buildings have the capability to further their inquiry, proficiency and instill a lifelong love of learning.


“Hi! My name is Billy. Today is my first day of second grade and I can’t wait to go.”

Empowerment & Ownership The expectations of students, teachers, campus staff, administrators, and parents are the foundation for planning and building a learning environment that works for all users. We encourage regular communications with the project planning team, sharing a wealth of design and technical expertise specific to the project and gathered across our 40 years of practice experience. Architecture that physically expresses the learning goals of our clients is the best reflection of the community it serves.

LESSON PLAN Tools Needed: Colored Pens & Paper for note taking Scissors & Glue Sticks Magazines (focused on building interiors, exteriors, and student age appropriate activities) 1 shoe box for each group Instructions: Step 1: Break up into groups of 4. Take twenty five minutes; develop a presentation that shows a typical day in the life for a student at your new school. i. This particular day will focus on the student’s interactions with the new building, each other and their teachers. ii. How will the building help students learn, how will the building celebrate what they do? Step 2: Present each group’s play; five minutes each group. Step 3: In the same group, using the magazines, have students cut out what inspires them and helps visually describe their perfect day. Decorate the shoe box, which represents the building. Step 4: Present the physical representation of the space which will help facilitate a perfect day.




“My school wants me to be independent. The halls are busy and fun. I can study with my friends, meet with my teachers, and see cool student projects on display.�















Our goal is to focus on the success of the project, whether the environment is a portable classroom or a new campus.







The “dreamTeam� & Community Engagement The A4E dreamTeam facilitates a planning process that explores how imaginative, efficient school design can best serve our students in the 21st century. A4E sponsors and organizes a group of innovative colleagues to help our clients brainstorm the future of education. When a school expresses its collective identity, it functions as a more effective learning institution.



Research Our practice expertise is a result of four decades of educational facilities research and real world implementation. A4E’s project approach centers on the particular needs and values of our clients and their communities. As we collaborate, effective and exceptional learning environments come to life.


“When I get to my new school, I can’t believe it! There are windows and bright colors everywhere. I see my friends playing on the coolest playground ever.”






THE BUILDING AS A TEACHER Children learn most effectively when a lesson plan evolves to embrace a complete learning experience. Group projects, hands-on activities, outdoor labs, and peer teaching offer experiential learning that enliven the basic classroom setting. We focus on a complete indoor/outdoor and off-campus learning program, developing our designs to promote student participation in powerful learning experiences that better prepare them for advanced study and career pursuits.



Learning Centers The best schools are an expression of community identity. Celebrating local tradition with unique learning programs, demonstrating environmental stewardship, incorporating natural landmarks, or elevating the contributions of a local hero or historical figure are just some of the thematic grounds upon which to build a campus that is authentic to its neighborhood.



From the book Where the Sidewalk Ends

- Shel Silverstein

“Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.�



“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader� -Margaret Fuller


Our central courtyard is actually made up of 10 smaller ones that overlap. It can be used as one space for an all school assembly or as several small study corners without seeming too big or too small. We keep it clean because it is beautiful, and we often choose to have classes outdoors.

“You should see my new homeroom! The coolest part is the window into the wall where you can see tons of pipes and wires. Wow, I never knew there was so much stuff hiding in there!�

“Our teacher always takes us outside to show us the difference between trees like oaks and elms - we get to touch them and see that one has acorns, while the other one doesn’t.”




“Every step from class reveals another planet in the solar system. Some I didn’t even know were there.” 31

Sustainability A4E honors sustainability as a cornerstone design principle. Since 1979, we have pioneered the use of green building methods and materials, realizing construction and energy savings for our clients in the short and long term. Resource stewardship methods utilized in project infrastructure double as 3-dimensional teaching tools, making them visible to all students.


“Our class has a garden, so each day we see how our plants have grown. I like to draw pictures of the tomato and the squash plants.�

Sun Study


Text + Image (see real life practice)


“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.“ – Albert Einstein


In this hands-on environment, students can experiment, write code, build bridges, create works of art, and practice problem-solving through every educational discipline. STEAM learning environments expand shared workspaces, opening up to the outdoors and making all learning spaces accessible and visible to one another. A4E coordinates design and technology elements, ensuring teachers are able to teach in a 21st century environment. Our proactive approach to changing technologies makes sure today’s applications can flexibly include tomorrow’s innovations.


No matter the size of the project, the greatest reward can be found on the happy faces of students who love their renewed campus environment. They grow and excel through the inspired learning opportunities made possible here.


“Hi! I’m Betty. Can school be stimulating and fascinating? Can we learn music at the swimming pool? Can I learn how to be an Engineer in wood shop? ...Endless possibilities”


“My favorite part of school is our big courtyard. We put on big shows and assemblies, but we can also meet up between and during classes to hang out or study. It makes me proud to go here!�



A benefit of our extensive experience: optimal funding for your project, available through a wide range of sources. A4E minimizes the amount of time required for agency approvals. Further, our funding expertise gives us the edge in positioning our clients to take receipt of eligible funds that are consistent with your educational goals and objectives. We attend all School Building Program hearings with our clients to make sure their concerns are understood. We will assist the District in the completion of all forms for eligibility and funding. A4E assists Districts with enrollment certification, determining existing building capacity, and projecting future housing requirements, to take full advantage of enrollment increases.


“Mr. Logan owns the best bookstore in town. We were sad to hear he was going out of business so when he asked for help, our answer was, YES!�


“This place is alive with activities all day, not just the five minutes between bells.�

A Building Inspired by Motion Our schools serve as important community hubs and evoke a sense of pride and identity. Neighborhood activities, from elections to bake sales, are held in the gym. MPR Buildings host movie nights, evening book groups or service organizations.


Project success begins with a collaborative effort, influenced by the unique input of each team member. This collective approach weaves goals and resources together to build an exceptional learning environment – a project that serves the functional and social needs of its users.






P ap urch pr as ov e al up -y on es !

“Hi! I’m Anthony. In science class we use all sorts of neat stuff. We can show off our experiments to experts in England, or our lab partners can be students in India.”



Inspiration Our practice vision presents us with a challenge. We consider that challenge well met when students, teachers, and community members are proud of their school.

I want to play football and be on the math team. I want to take culinary classes and be on the debate team. Whatever I choose to do, I know my school has the resources to support me. 54

Our approach to every project is comprehensive, springing from a detailed understanding of our role as architectural ambassadors to education.


Our success is determined by the buildings we leave behind. A4E’s project team works as one, reinforcing design concepts in every drawing and detail. Minimizing construction conflicts leads to satisfied clients who receive a better value for their dollar and a project completed on schedule. By understanding the technical and maintenance needs of our clients, we are able to design buildings that are both functional and resistant to wear. A4E’s goal is to create the educational and architectural models of the future.

“My school is a portal to the world - I am exposed to all cultures and have access to all aspects of life. I am one person, but through my network I can make an impact.�



Project Reference and Credit Page 10-11: Ballogg, Mark. Greenman Elementary School Page 14-15: Daly, Fred. Carolyn Wylie Elementary School Page 18-21: Ballogg, Mark. Greenman Elementary School Page 25: Lang, Dale. Nuview Elementary School Library (bookmark) Page 26-27: Ballogg, Mark. Herget Middle School Page 28: Murphy, Greg. San Lorenzo “Learningscapes” Page 30-31: Murphy, Greg. San Lorenzo “Learningscapes” Page 32: Ballogg, Mark. Colusa Page 35: Ballogg, Mark. Colusa Page 38-39: Lang, Dale. Arroyo High School Page 42-43: Daly, Fred. Rialto High School, Career Technical Education Center Page 44: Graham, Ken. Anchorage High School Page 45: Lang, Dale. San Lorenzo Phase 2 Page 50-51: Daly, Fred. Rubidoux High School Classroom Page 52-53: Daly, Fred. Rubidoux High School, Classroom Modernization

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