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AIA Awards for Dressel Elementary

The American Institute of Architects St. Louis Chapter recognized Wm. B Ittner Inc., a Cordogan Clark Company, with two awards during AIA-STL’s 2020 Design Awards program.

The AIA St. Louis 2020 Design Awards Program recognizes and encourages excellence in design and brings attention to works of distinction. The awards were presented at a virtual program Oct. 28.

Ittner was recognized with an Honor Award in the Interiors category for its work on Lindbergh School District’s Dressel Elementary School. Ittner was also recognized with a Merit Award in the Architecture category for its work on Dressel Elementary.

Entries in the Architecture Design Awards program were judged for the success with which the project met its individual requirements. Criteria for design excellence include function, utility, economy, environmental harmony, and aesthetics.


Dressel Elementary is a bright and friendly school serving up to 650 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and provides a future-ready facility welcoming to all students.

Opened in 2017, Dressel Elementary relieved overcrowding throughout the district’s 11 facilities. It replaced a small, aging school on the site with a new 98,000-square-foot building designed to provide a welcoming environment for 21st century learners.

To match the scale of the surrounding residential neighborhood, the two-story building with a competition size gym is set into a hillside at the back of the site. Despite the partial basement condition at the lower level, classroom wings shaped like fingers and sawtooth-shaped roof elements allow natural light to permeate both classrooms and public spaces.

Each designated grade-level wing features an open STEM project area to enhance student learning and exploration. Between classroom wings are courtyards where raingardens collect water from the school’s roof, allowing students to observe this natural process and illustrating a commitment to sustainability.

The large open multipurpose cafeteria located inside the main entrance is wrapped with natural light from translucent clerestory panels and a large window wall. Artificial lighting is not required in the space during the day, and during the evening hours, the glass puts on display the special events in this public zone of the school.

Storm-rated safe rooms located in the partial basement double as multipurpose meeting rooms and feature color-coded storage areas for community groups. The specially designed playground takes advantage of the hillside by providing an area that supports accessibility with a playful ramp system allowing students to play together no matter their mobility.


Wm. B. Itner, Inc. is a full-service architectural firm based in St. Louis, MO. It also has offices in Fairview Heights, IL. The firm is a Cordogan Clark Group company. Cordogan Clark is a full-service, award-winning architectural, planning and engineering firm of innovative professionals committed to excellence. Based in Aurora and Chicago, IL, Cordogan Clark also has offices in Lafayette, IN, and Madrid, Spain. The firm was founded in 1951 by Louis Cordogan.


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