May Whitney Elementary School receives Outstanding Project Award and National Recognition

DLA Architects received an OUTSTANDING PROJECT Award in LEARNING BY DESIGN Magazine’s fall 2021 Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence. The May Whitney Elementary School (Lake Zurich, IL) has been award recognized as a benchmark facility for its incorporation of next generation learning space design and planning. The built environment characteristics found in this project are worthy of replication by other educators and design professionals creating learning environments.

All awarded facilities in the Fall 2021 edition of LEARNING BY DESIGN have been peer-reviewed and juried.

Projects such as the May Whitney Elementary School met or exceeded in meeting the six judging criteria of:

  1. Innovation,
  2. Community Needs,
  3. Interior Design, Sustainability,
  4. Functional Design, and
  5. Next Generation Learning.

The jury looks for in each project unique qualities or new concepts that where successfully implemented to improve pedagogy, community wellbeing, and social equity through the design of facilities and its campus. LEARNING BY DESIGN’s distinguished fall 2021 jury of six education architectural design experts applauded DLA Architects, Ltd. for its accomplishment in designing the May Whitney Elementary School

LEARNING BY DESIGN, published in the Spring, Summer, and Fall each year circulates to more than 50,000 leaders at all levels of education-from early childhood and elementary schools, middle and high schools, career-vocational Education centers, and two and four-year institutions of higher education throughout the United States. To access the magazine’s digital edition, visit:

May Whitney Elementary School -

The design incorporates graphics that play off themes of shape and color with biophilic patterns to connect students to nature.
Learning By Design Jury
“There’s a level of thoughtfulness in the design that is evident at each turn. Good coordination with keeping existing school online. This is clearly a student-driven project, with design decisions such as kid-height windows in the pre-K wing and the intentional use of color as exterior and interior wayfinding related to each grade level.”