Free Union Country School is located in the heart of Free Union, VA, only minutes away from downtown Charlottesville. It is an independent, community-based preschool and elementary school that provides a unique learning environment. The school’s rural setting allows students to appreciate natural sciences and learn different conservation and sustainability philosophies.
McKee Carson was hired by Andrew Thomas, the architect, to site a new addition to the school’s grounds, along with a new play court and path system. Using infrastructure as the basis of design, the landscape architects and engineers of McKee Carson provided an educational and tactile landscape for the students of Free Union Country School. A biofilter collecting storm run-off from the adjacent play court and new addition, provides an excellent educational tool for students and teachers to monitor throughout the year. This functional landscape allows students to investigate larger pollution issues entering our water systems. Natural materials such as stone honey dust, timber retaining walls, and sliced locust trunk pavers enhance the character of the school while providing a rustic alternative to traditional institutional design.