KIPP Charter School Renovation

Pollen was commissioned by the KIPP (Knowledge is Power) Academy to design its KIPP Austin Academy of Arts and Letters. The school would inhabit former institutional buildings built around large courtyards with heritage oak trees. Our typical building section was designed to maximize views into the courtyards and daylight in classrooms, and to organize mechanical systems over hallways. These circulation spaces became internal ‘streets’, activated with display areas for each classroom. KIPP’s motivational messages (‘team always beats individual,’ ‘work hard, be nice’) were integrated into a design for building components—wainscot and door trim to make visually cohesive spaces. We sought for cost effective ways to humanize and enliven the buildings for the middle school, including use of off-the-shelf components and LARGE graphics. Lastly, we designed a PE shade structure incorporating a climbing wall.