Corpus Christi ISD | New Cullen Place Elementary School

The new CCISD Elementary School is the first of the districts two new 1,000-student elementary school prototypes. The selection process included 17 initial respondents and culminated in a design competition of which our design received unanimous praise as extremely innovative.

Our client’s vision was to create a prototype that allows them to build a school in phases, where classrooms can be added easily if demand and population increase. Our response was to think of a kit of parts. We developed core pieces as the library, cafeteria and administration building, and Modular Classroom Pods.

It was important for the library to be equidistant and the focal point of the school, which led us to design classroom pods arranged in a loop around a courtyard containing all playgrounds and outdoor spaces usually fenced off for security reasons. Now, naturally defined by the perimeter of our building, children can play, run, and experience freedom in this vast, completely secure, safe courtyard.

Children live in a fantastic and creative space, where everything is possible, constantly shifting from daydreaming to having fun in the real world while learning from their experiences.

Our interior concept enhances this notion. The concept takes cues from the beautiful Coastal Nature and how land surrounds the Bay of Corpus Christi. We use the built environment enclosing the courtyard as an analogy. In this fantastic world of creativity and possibilities, they can walk from Padre Island to Port Aransas to Gregory and back to Corpus Christi in minutes while enjoying the nature of these areas. The flora, fauna, and topography of these regions are different, and so our materials palette for each pod.  At any moment, they can explore the Bay by going to the courtyard, sailing a ship that will take them places.

This is the district’s vision and ours to make kids’ school experience the start of their fantastic life journey.


Project Highlights

104,260 GSF
Substantially Complete August, 2023

Services Provided

Site Planning


Interior Design

Conceptual Design

Schematic Design

Design Development

Construction Documents

Technical Specifications


Cost Estimating

Construction Administration

MEP, Civil, Structural Engineering Coordination

Renderings & Animations

Project Management

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

FF&E Selections