McMicken Elementary School / TCF Architecture

© Pete Eckert

Architects: TCF Architecture
Location: , Washington, USA
Client: Highline Public Schools
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 65,000 sqf; 6,039 sqm
Photographs: Pete Eckert

© Pete Eckert

McMicken elementary school seeks to convert the client’s practical requirements of sloping roofs and durable materials into a youthful and energetic expression.

© Pete Eckert

The project is located in a Seattle suburb near SeaTac airport. The site itself is a flat square in a residential neighborhood and is surrounded by city streets on 3 of 4 sides. In response, the program spaces are arranged in an L-shaped organization along the site’s Southern and Western edges which creates a generous outdoor play space on the inside of the L. The program is further differentiated into academic and activity spaces (gym, lunchroom, etc.) with academic spaces on the South and activity spaces on the West. Academic functions are housed in 2 opposed and interlocking wedges developed in response to the need to accommodate program elements of varying heights. The wedges in turn, are linked to the activities wing by a tube-like circulation spine which serves as both connector and mixing space.

© Pete Eckert

The academic wedges are clad in concrete and metal siding which has been color coded in green and blue (McMicken’s school colors). Galvanized metal roofing wraps continuously around the wedges and is expressed as both a unifier and terminus. The activities wing also uses galvanized metal but is constructed and clad in CMU to maximize it’s durability. The North end of the activities wing features a steel mast and cable play structure which offers outside activity space in Seattle’s moderate but rainy climate.


The facility exceeds the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol and serves it’s community as both a place for children and a neighborhood hub.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "McMicken Elementary School / TCF Architecture" 20 Nov 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <>


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