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Crystal Springs Uplands School


Crystal Springs Uplands School

Belmont, CA

We love the way the buildings are designed to take advantage of the views and natural light. Bora's design process was engaging, fun, ego-free, and supported by clear and transparent communication. The students absolutely love the school.

Andrew Davis, Head of School

This independent college preparatory school for grades 6-12 promotes academic excellence through small class sizes, personal attention, hands-on learning and community service. To maintain these values and further the School’s academic mission, we designed a new middle school for grades 6-8 on a dramatic site in Belmont Canyon six miles south, aiming to unify the student experience across both locations.

The new middle school is a series of buildings organized along a formal axis, with indoor academic and social functions linking outdoor spaces. 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 where students gather and study throughout the day. Flexible classroom spaces easily accommodate traditional and group teaching, while dedicated social areas further a sense of community at each grade level.

Secondary structures include a gymnasium, multi-purpose room/cafeteria, and a storage building. Deconstructing the campus in this way allows the design to integrate outdoor space into everyday student life. This consciously fosters an intimacy of scale and a non-institutional feel, aligning with the cherished personality of the main Upper School campus.

Size

48,000sf

Collaborators

Turner Construction
Therma Mechanical
Sprig Electric
Tipping Engineers
Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Integral Group