Valdez Elementary School

Valdez Elementary School* was a complete renovation of an existing playground and surrounding landscape as a part of the Learning Landscapes program through Denver Public Schools. The design work was a collaboration with a graduate student in University of Colorado Denver’s landscape architecture department. In addition, the design process included working with: school teachers and administrators, parents, Denver Public Schools, and the surrounding community through a public process.

The design concept centers on the creation of a main square or “Zocolo”. The square is the heart of the school for the students, teachers, and administrators. It also serves as a gathering space for the surrounding community. Within the square sits the outdoor classroom with a custom designed shade structure above it that provides a comfortable learning environment. The outdoor classroom is large enough for all the students to sit in at once and acts as an outdoor school assembly space.

* Project completed while at Civitas, Inc.

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