Forest Edge Elementary School, WI
A School with a View
Forest Edge Elementary School serves the nearby Oregon, Wisconsin, school district. Thought it was completed in 2020, its design kept the future in mind. The school is unique in its deep commitment to the surrounding natural environment and biophilic design. Heated and cooled using geothermal wells and more than 1,700 solar panels, the school reached net-zero energy after just one year of operation. Forest Edge features on-site gardens, natural light, and flexible learning spaces both indoors and out to provide a well-rounded education for the student body. When it came time to furnish interior spaces, it was important that the product reflected the mission of the school and embraced less conventional design processes that benefited the student body.
School to Table
One of the areas Demco was most excited to develop with Forest Edge was the cafeteria. Forest Edge is bringing contemporary teaching ideas to the table through implementation of composting and a school garden, empowering students to better understand their relationship to the food they eat. Spaces like cafeterias are great because they are very functional and community-focused. They require furnishings that support a large number of students, frequent cleaning, accessibility, and flow. Dining tables that can roll and be converted into benches, like these Palmer-Hamilton tables, maximize their options. Additional soft seating resembling boulders evokes a natural setting, and upholstered benches provide sound absorption and more privacy for those that need it, bringing flexible seating to the dining room.
Bibliophilic Meets Biophilic
Taking a cue from the rest of the school, Forest Edge’s library embraces the outdoors by featuring a massive bank of windows looking out to nature. Demco supported this design with soft seating featuring organic curves, as well as ample shelving like that from KI or Colorscape, so that students can comfortably read in the room with a view. Students who need a more focused space can enjoy the quiet Playpod or find their own spot using one of the many moveable floor cushions. Lower shelving improves accessibility and allows natural light to pour across the space instead of being blocked by taller units, a detail that sets this library apart.
Forest Edge is a perfect example of how forward-thinking development can support forward-thinking learners.