River Oaks Baptist School, a private pre-K through eighth grade school in Houston, looked to Jackson & Ryan Architects to design a new middle school that they could not picture. They were looking to build a facility that was driven by student empowered and self-directed learning, with an interdisciplinary collaboration focus. The approach was based on the leadership’s research on best practices in teaching, and the new building was to provide for that, an expansion in enrollment and an increased sense of community. While looking towards the future, it was also imperative that the new build reflect who they are now, within the frame work of their existing campus. The four story, metal-panel clad Mosing Middle School Building, seems to twist out of the existing brick campus, to do just that.
The exterior form creates dynamic outdoor learning spaces, connected to grade level learning communities that have “hearths”, hard-working commons areas, science labs, collaboration spaces and classrooms of varying sizes and shapes. The building is grounded by a robotics and computer lab, an indoor/outdoor middle school maker space and fine arts spaces (a Blue Box theatre, plus music and visual arts classrooms) that are stacked on three floors to enable acoustic separations. The Red Ribbon Library, that flows through the building, creates the library of the future, reinforcing hands-on projects, design thinking, and exploration that happens in every corner of this facility.
Adjacent to the middle school, the Sarofim Leadership Center was designed to bridge between the existing River Oaks Baptist School campus and the new Mosing Middle School, creating a new front door for the campus and providing administration and collaboration spaces to reflect and reinforce the entire River Oaks Baptist School community.
Built on a new underground parking garage, the Mosing Middle School Building and the Sarofim Leadership Center add 115,000 sf of interior space, enabling the school to increase enrollment and create substantially more green space for students, all on a very tight, urban campus.
2021 Learning By Design Architectural Award for Excellence