Edison High School is a small, mission-driven community committed to help students with diverse learning differences to reach their full potential. Our design creates a one-building campus crafted with thoughtful attention to particular needs for comfort, socialization, and focus within an easily navigable environment fostering confidence and growth.
We were challenged by the site’s inhospitable location adjacent to a busy suburban strip mall and within a 100-year flood plain. To create a calm and welcoming space, we elevated the building, distancing it from its immediate surroundings, and crafted a nurturing, internally focused sanctuary for communal learning. A vibrant double-height commons space centers the building with a halo of classrooms floating above the ground level, offering visual connections but also the sense of seclusion necessary for focused work.
Key spaces are grouped in a series of clusters at the ground level along the perimeter of the commons, aiding students accessing special services, with a handful of casual support spaces for informal conversation located between. To moderate the scale of the commons, two stair towers incorporate clustered huddle and conference spaces, while clerestory windows bring in light from above.
Outside, the Commons spills out onto an east facing yard that is protected from the parking by intentional landscaping that incorporates small scale outdoor social spaces. The exterior steel façade contrasts with the warm wood interior, further illustrating the protective nature of the building, and, with an efficient two-story mass and large roof, photovoltaic panel coverage will make a path to Net Zero achievable.