Project Construction

At IslandWood, many decisions were made to protect and preserve the site while recognizing its unique teaching abilities. The site nearly encompasses a complete watershed that includes wetlands, a pond, and a stream, leaving water protected and filtered by these natural systems. Though the existing forest on the site was previously logged for years, it, too, was catalogued to ensure the oldest and largest trees

Students walking to the dining room.


TOP LEFT: Lodge detail at gable end.

TOP RIGHT: Main entry sequence.

BOTTOM LEFT: Main center reception.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Lodge window detail.


LEFT: Art studio exterior.

RIGHT: Great room fireplace highlighting local stones.


ABOVE: Fossils inlaid into the stonework.

OPPOSITE: 70,000-square-foot campus on 255 acres of Bainbridge Island.

were saved during construction. Those trees that were removed were used for mulch or locally milled for the buildings' siding and trim. And all landscape comprises native northwest species requiring no irrigation beyond initial planting and establishment, encouraging animal habitat and students' exploration. One result of these endeavors is that only six acres out of the 255-acre site were developed.

All IslandWood buildings are designed to be built with easily reused or recycled materials that require little maintenance. Spaces are designed for multiple uses to allow for maximum flexibility over time; lodge bedrooms feature bunk beds for children's programs during the week and queen-sized Murphy beds for adults or families on weekends. Wood structures contain high fly ash content concrete stem walls. Forest Stewardship Council-certified lumber and glu-l am trusses are bolted together with recyclable steel connections. Materials are left unfinished and in a natural state, eliminating typical maintenance routines like painting, replacing carpeting, and repairing drywall. In-floor radiant heating combined with natural ventilation eliminates ductwork, reducing maintenance and improving air quality. The natural ventilation of the building was optimized using the Thermal Analysis System.

In addition to these large sustainable features, the design also features a series of small, tactile details to spur the children's curiosity. In keeping with the site's features and the school's mission, local craftspeople and artists created the furniture and artwork featured throughout IslandWood. From custom copper sinks with salmon motifs that alert users to the importance of water to multilayer stone fireplaces that tell the region's geologic history, these pieces help to edu cate, create a sense of place, and connect the buildings to the site.

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