northwest studio 

architects urban designers


The French American School of Puget Sound

Mercer Island, WA
Pre-K, K-8, and High-School

The French American School of Puget Sound is the Pacific Northwest’s premier bi-lingual educational institution. With 435 students in TYPK through 8th grade, its curriculum focuses on nurturing academic excellence and inspiring new generations of global citizens – grounded in empathy, intellectual curiosity, and multi-culturalism. The school approached us with a request to help program and plan for a new and permanent home, with greater opportunities for self-determination, pedagogical exploration, and room to grow.
The school’s current campus is located on Mercer Island, where it is spread over five adjacent properties with four separate owners, and among six buildings shared by three institutions.  The scale and breadth of these facilities is unmatched, with offerings that include a theater/auditorium, gym, Olympic sized pool, places for worship and contemplation, gardens, outdoor play spaces, and access to the Herzl Ner Tamid Lake Washington waterfront.  But the capacity for growth and the development of new programs is limited. Regulatory controls prohibit expansion, and the school’s strategic decisions about mission and pedagogy are tethered to its campus partners.   

Together with the Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff, we undertook a series of programming, master planning, and concept design studies, focused on the strategic reorganization of program, to inform the future development of a new campus.  The work involved faculty and staff interviews, a comprehensive analysis of existing and projected space needs, a review of class scheduling scenarios to understand opportunities for overlap, shared use, and/or partnership with other institutions. Programming and concept design studies informed high-level regulatory analyses and coordination with real estate search and acquisition efforts.


Mercer Island, Washington

ClientThe French American School of Puget Sound︎︎︎

Master Planning: 2016 - 2019

Pre-K, K-8, High-School, Parking, Outdoor and Recreation space


Facilities Condition: MENG Analysis︎︎︎
Real Estate Advisor: New Ventures︎︎︎
Traffic: Transpo Group︎︎︎


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