In 2013, the Khabele School purchased a 4-acre property with an existing daycare facility to expand their rapidly growing elementary program. In the school’s initial meeting with Derrington Building Studio principal, Tim Derrington, their directive was simple—design the campus as “a village in the forest.” The school’s limited budget and tight schedule, along with the site’s sensitive environmental restrictions, posed unique challenges.
Derrington Building Studio translated this vision for Khabele’s progressive community into architecture through a crisp play on Central Texas vernacular. The new building facade unites the campus by incorporating an existing masonry pattern from their prominent existing kindergarten building. Circulation extracted from the interior and brought to the exterior capitalizes on the local climate while minimizing ground cover. This also maximizes the classroom spaces and obliges interaction with the surrounding elements. This open spatial experience and natural material palette creates an inviting learning environment that fosters growth for students’ minds and well-being.