Young Women's Leadership Academy
Fort Worth, Texas
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA), Fort Worth Independent School District’s first single-gender school, offers a college-preparatory curriculum with an emphasis on mathematics, science, and technology. In repurposing a century-old building to educate the leaders of tomorrow, the concept of transparency emerged as a key tool for inspiring curiosity. In multiple ways, the ability to “see through” reflects the goals of the school: from the interior exposure of structural and mechanical systems to the glass-clad collaborative spaces at the core of the floor plan, every element of the design was created to energize the educational environment and showcase the academy’s hands-on programs.
The YWLA is an aspirational environment that encourages creativity, critical thinking, and empowerment. The 4-story building is organized by the concepts of community (library, cafeteria, commons, administration), fitness and wellness (physical education), technology (digital animation), and science (biomechanical engineering). On each level, a focal wall uses large-scale graphics and inspirational quotations from prominent women who embody the floor’s central theme. Likewise, the school’s motto—“Girls Excelling in Math and Science,” or GEMS—is translated into the space through the application of jewel-toned accents.