The Cahuenga Elementary School sits within one of the many ethnic neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
While the site is located within what is now part of Korea town, the demographics of the area are
constantly shifting, so a school designed toward one ethnicity is not what the school district is looking for. Rather, the school district sought to universally welcome different types of students and integrate new technology within education. The Elementary school houses kindergarden through fifth grades (with kindergarden isolated) three special needs classrooms, a library, a gym, a cafeteria with indoor and outdoor seating, an auditorium / multipurpose room, and administration space, all within 63,000 square feet.
The design takes its cue from the freeway system of Los Angeles. The freeways connect different nodes throughout the city, which pays no attention to the grid in which the nodes sit. So too, in the Cahuenga Elementary School major interaction points sit within the site, such as a gym, library, multipurpose room, and front office, and are connected via the major corridors, as the classrooms sit off these corridors. The classrooms serve as intermediaries along the way from one major point to the next. Each major program element was then represented by a color to help differentiate and easily navigate through the project. The window system also uses the grid to liven up the façade. Instead of typical ribbon windows, the façade is assorted with windows in a random fashion, to allow light into the classrooms.
Status: School Project
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US