Recent research has shown a primary issue facing educators of the middle school grades is student engagement. This project attempts to address the issue through a radial configuration of transparent program elements, revealing all that is happening within the school at a given moment, as well as through a physically engaging topographic environment which will make the experience of attending the school exciting and memorable.
A shell structure is conceived as a continuation of the central landscaped hill, folding over itself and forming a large pavilion with an open plaza at the center. Underneath the shell, the program is compartmentalized into bulbous pods, allowing rain-sheltered circulation to happen around them. Each of these pods extends itself programmatically into the plaza, claiming a piece of the landscape as its own and reshaping it as necessary. Above each pod is a perforation of the shell’s concrete panel structure, providing optimal daylighting to the occupied spaces. The west slope of the central plaza is made into open-riser bleachers which provide light to the staff parking lot below and a view of the playing field. While the field is shared by the school and the peripheral housing project, the sectional changes from its sunken elevation and that of the 2nd level plaza provide a visual and acoustic buffer between the two.
Status: School Project
Location: Culver City, CA, US