This independent college preparatory school for grades 6-12 has a culture that revolves around small class size, personal attention, hands-on learning and community service. To further their academic mission, a new middle school was proposed on a dramatic site in Belmont Canyon. Since this site is not physically adjacent to the main campus, one of our core project goals is to unify the student experience across both locations.
Our design team has structured the new middle school as a series of buildings organized along a formal axis, linking outdoor spaces with indoor academic and social functions. The Academic Center is the main structure on campus, housing two floors of classrooms on each side of the Great Hall. Capitalizing on the panoramic views of the canyon and lake below, the Great Hall is the heart of the school, and a place where all students gather and study throughout the day. Flexible classroom space easily transitions between traditional and group teaching configurations, while dedicated social spaces help create a sense of community at each grade level.
Secondary structures include a gymnasium, multi-purpose/cafeteria and a storage building. By deconstructing the campus in this way, our design integrates outdoor space into the everyday life of the students. This consciously fosters an intimacy of scale and a non-institutional feel, tying into the cherished personality of the main campus.
Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture