The Branch School

Master Planning, Schools


Houston, Texas


Project Features
  • Maker Spaces
  • Studios
  • Classrooms
  • Outdoor Learning
  • Site Developments
  • Net-zero building design
The Branch School is an independent private school in west Houston for preschool, elementary, and middle school students. Their 21-st century learning approach and curriculum focuses on developing skills that “enable future leaders to communicate effectively, listen to other points of view, collaborate, and empathetically respect the dignity of all.” Kirksey and The Branch School worked together to create a new master plan and middle school building that accommodates the school’s growth and approach to project-based learning. 

The new two-story, 222,800-sf net-zero building is designed to meet LEED Silver certifications. Sustainability is a driving concept in the school design that helps it respond to climates and allows the building to be used as a teaching tool. Classrooms, studios, and maker spaces give students various areas to experience project-based learning and collaboration opportunities. The project site is developed to facilitate learning both inside and outside and includes outdoor learning spaces, a walking trail, a garden, a weather station pavilion, and a teaching courtyard.

The Branch School Master Plan from Kirksey Architecture on Vimeo.

Nicola Springer, AIA, LEED AP 713 426 7510
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Nicola is an expert in 21st century learning environments and educational design. She has created state-of-the-art public and private schools and developed PlayTheory, a process that engages stakeholders in a fun, collaborative way to gather quantitative and qualitative information that is used during the design phase. Nicola's talents and expertise are often utilized on projects throughout the firm, including higher education and community projects.