Galewood Elementary School

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

A three-story steel-concrete-structure punctuated by a soaring glass and wood panel-clad multi-use space creates a vibrant, visually appealing identity, that reflects the charter school's strong community-based vision for aspiring achievement within this community.

This public charter school features a cutting-edge digital library, advancing users to the 21st-Century. Decentralized, flexible classrooms allow students to work in groups, present their ideas, strengthen collaboration and build confidence. Students are encouraged to configure spaces to suit their needs, teaching them to actively, critically engage their environment. An array of presentation spaces encourages students to hone their public-speaking skills.

Generous community spaces also house activities for parents such as after-school yoga, fitness classes and community meetings, catalyzing change in an overcrowded neighborhood where community spaces are scarce.

LEED Silver design includes a number of features to reduce its energy, water, and carbon impact while teaching children about environmental stewardship: Operable classroom windows control temperature and fresh air, connecting students to the outdoors; Classrooms use daylight harvesting while sensors eliminate unnecessary lights, reducing the building's energy costs and linking children to rhythms of the solar cycle; Precast concrete panels are made from recycled materials while wood-veneered phenolic-resin-core panels shade the library windows from the southern sun.

Architect of record

Patricia Natke
213 W. Institute Place, Suite 710
Chicago, Il 60610
Phone: 312.202.1200
Fax: 312.202.1202

General contractor

Joe Scarpelli
5515 N. East River Road
Chicago, Il 60656
Phone: (773) 444-3474


Christopher Barrett
Christopher Barrett Photographer
3305 Wisconsin Ave
Berwyn, Il 60402
Phone: 708.317.5700