The Bridgeland Educational Village in Cypress, Texas
With 150,000 students, and counting, the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in suburban Houston is the third largest school district in the state of Texas.
When the district needed to build a new elementary, high school and middle school to serve students living in the new Bridgeland master plan community, district administrators envisioned a new type of campus. Instead of building schools that were isolated from the other, the Cy-Fair district decided to build a multi-campus educational village, where the high school, future middle school and elementary school would be connected by green space and an outdoor learning area. The Village concept would create opportunities for K-12 students to learn from each other, grow together, and receive a world-class education.
The Bridgeland Educational Village opened in September 2017. A few months later, the education design team from the Texas Studio of IBI Group hired us to help them develop a video case story focusing on the process they used to design this signature project.
The Story Behind the Story
This would be a complex story to tell, with many points of view. But the underlying theme of transformation emerged pretty quickly during our preliminary discussions with members of the district design team.
For district administrators, the educational village concept would transform traditional ideas of building large multi-campus sites. For curriculum specialists, the Village would allow teachers from all grade levels to transform their approach to education, by providing opportunities for younger and older students to learn from one other. For the architects, transformation meant designing a multi-campus site with an emphasis on technology, flexible classrooms, and indoor-outdoor learning spaces.
During filming, we focused on capturing visual examples of transformation. We used drones to capture specific educational design elements, to show viewers the thought and strategy behind the architects’ vision. During our interviews with the architects, district leaders and teachers, we asked them to talk about how this project helped them transform their thinking about the way public education could be for the next generation of learners.
The result is a human story about a place and space where transformation occurs every day.