K-12 Architecture


Creative, beautiful and sustainable metal materials and products for K-12 learning environments that activate young minds, promote school pride, and stimulate engagement. Design and build with the flexibility, affordability, and enduring qualities of architectural metals.

A school is an intricate system of environments that address a variety of educational, social, and emotional needs. It’s a home away from home, the center of a community, and a place to foster learning that lasts a lifetime.

At Zahner, we partner with designers, architects, builders, and school communities to reimagine learning environments, transform existing facilities, and bring creativity and longevity to school entrances, outdoor areas, and the circulation spaces that connect them all together. Because when K-12 school design is properly balanced between thoughtful and artful, practical and whimsical, functional and beautiful, children and adolescents are more interested in learning, exploring, and achieving.

Pembroke Hill preparatory school's barrel-vaulted dining hall, which features artwork by Dutch artist Jan Hendrix, fabricated by Zahner.

Pembroke Hill preparatory school's barrel-vaulted dining hall, which features artwork by Dutch artist Jan Hendrix, fabricated by Zahner.

K-12 Education Design Solutions

Our Zahner Assist services and commitment to collaboration and innovation with K-12 education project stakeholders can help in multiple phases including pre-construction, construction drawings, fabrication, and final installation.

As architectural metals play an increasingly important role in K-12 school designs, we can provide unique insights on specific metals, perspectives on fabrication, and guidance on the finer points of construction and installation. Metal surfaces offer sustainability benefits—as well as functionality and affordability—all while helping to preserve architectural design intent, communicate school values, and foster learning environments that promote discovery and inspiration.

With numerous K-12 education projects to our credit, we have the breadth of project experience and critical-thinking on K-12 trends and issues to advise on every aspect of your project.

At Zahner, we help you develop design solutions for the most important areas in a K-12 facility, with services including:

  • Material selection
  • Design feasibility
  • Engineering
  • Attachment points
  • Construction
  • Ongoing maintenance

School Entrances That Invite and Welcome

The entryway of a school building is more important than ever when considering the best ways to evoke positive and productive emotions and communications among students, families and teachers. Entrances filled with natural light stimulate the senses, energize brain centers, and support positive first impressions.

Angel hair stainless steel ImageWall screens depicting the Blue Valley High School mascot.

Angel hair stainless steel ImageWall screens depicting the Blue Valley High School mascot.

Angel hair stainless steel screens depicting the school's mascot.

Angel hair stainless steel screens depicting the school's mascot.

The variety of available design variables and treatments make architectural metals flexible and affordable for any school environment. They can be customized in numerous ways with:

  • Textures, colors, finishes, reflectivity, and patinas that match school colors or geographical surroundings
  • Perforated imagery that display words, pictures, symbols, or art
  • Punch pressing, engraving, folding, and water jetting for other unique designs

Outdoor School Environments That Extend the Learning Environment

Outdoor environments in K-12 educational settings contribute greatly to the overall wellbeing of students and teachers. Greater access to outdoor space improves mental health, attention spans, and test performance.

Architectural elements such as fences, gates, screens, and sunshades, can protect and preserve natural environments, especially when they are encroached upon by urban settings and other unnatural infrastructure. Perforated metal screens, gates, and fences create a more aesthetically-pleasing experience in a defined outdoor space. They can also be very effective in blocking unwanted noise and visual pollutants on the outside—such as highways, parking lots, and industrial areas.

Circulation Spaces That Connect it All Together

When K-12 circulation spaces such as corridors, stairwells, and elevators, are closely integrated with the entire design aesthetic, they reinforce school values, historical significance, and community pride.

Clearer signage and wayfinding elements promote safety and security. And the durability and flexibility of architectural metals make them natural choices for these public spaces. Images, motivational quotes, and slogans—etched or punched in metal—give a sense of permanence and importance.

Design, Engineering, and Expertise for Empowered Learning Environments

We are researchers, designers, engineers, and fabricators who often become integral members of your K-12 project team. We work directly with your designers, architects, and contractors to constantly assess constructability and schedules by providing:

  • Design: Our metals, patinas, perforations, and finishes give you options for every aesthetic and environment of your K-12 project. Our professionals advise on costs, materials, and even supply chain status.
  • Engineering: Zahner in-house engineers calculate weights and attachment anchors, assess light and airflow volumes, and provide quality checks on fit and finish. Your K-12 project construction drawings are reviewed and evaluated, and you receive feedback on any potential gaps or challenges.
  • Fabrication: Our folding, welding, and punch-press capabilities deliver speed and quality control. Pioneering methods and creative problem-solving allow us to tackle the most challenging designs.
  • Installation: Zahner-designed embeds, anchors and framing, along with agile welding methods reduce risk and ensure budget adherence. We have the K-12 project management and construction talent to deliver flawless timing, delivery, handling, and installation.

K-12 Education Capabilities & Products

To find out more about using architectural metals, and perforated or patterned metals in your next K-12 project, call +1 (816) 474-8882 to speak with one of our Project Specialists or send us a message.