Inside Laurentian Elementary School in Eveleth, Minnesota,

Cuningham Designs an Imaginative School in Minnesota

Consolidating two rural school districts into a unified system offering world-class education is no small feat, especially amid a pandemic. Laurentian Elementary School in Eveleth, Minnesota, met these ambitious goals thanks to a dynamic, community-oriented facility by Cuningham. “Architecturally, the concept of play unites the indoor and outdoor learning spaces,” firm principal John Pfluger notes.

A two-story play tower in the form of a wooden treehouse greets students entering the 89,000-square-foot school’s common area, which branches off into collaborative learning wings. The design takes cues from the area’s geological landscape of white pine forests, rock ledges, and glacial erratic via locally sourced knotty pine and exposed steel beams throughout. Heated flooring in the kindergarten wing ensure comfort during frigid Minnesota winters, and the team utilized inclusive restrooms on each hall for safety and accessibility.

Hands-on learning is encouraged in spaces like the maker’s lab, conceived for project-based STEAM activities and equipped with computers and 3D printers. With two more campuses in development, Cuningham’s future-forward design is sure to empower the next generation.

Behind the Design of Laurentian Elementary School 

Gray exterior of Laurentian Elementary School in Eveleth, Minnesota,
A wood paneled wall in Laurentian Elementary School overlooks the ground floor
Circular cutouts offer children space to play in Laurentian Elementary School
Inside Laurentian Elementary School in Eveleth, Minnesota

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