Federico Garcia Lorca Elementary School is an elementary school in the Avondale-Irving Park neighborhood on Chicagos northwest side. SMNG-A was both the conceptual designer and Architect of Record for this 900-student school. This school represents the first new “C” shaped prototype designed with an efficient footprint for use on small, irregularly shaped building sites.
The design of Lorca located certain school functions that have potential public use on the commercial street and quieter school functions on the adjacent residential streets. One side of the C-shape provides a wind-sheltered loggia and playground, the other provides building entry, bus drop-off, and a semi-public garden. Portions of the school containing public spaces were developed as a “Community Core”, easily accessed and isolated for after-hours community use. Terraced canopies, loggia, and plaza mark the main entrance.
The exterior form of the third floor library reinforces the schools presence in the neighborhood and tops the Community Core. Sustainable features include high efficiency mechanical systems, a vegetated roof, recycled materials, a bio-swale, permeable pavers, day-lighting controls, and solar shading louvers. The building is designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating. Lorca was a Merit Award finalist for the 2011 Chicago Building Congress. The Public Building Commission of Chicago was nominated as “Patron of the Year” by the Chicago Architectural Foundation for SMNG-As design of the Lorca School.