Language Academy K-8 Master Plan

San Diego School District

San Diego, California

This kindergarten through eighth-grade school focuses on French and Spanish language programs. The existing kindergarten classrooms were small and lacked innovative teaching capabilities; many were still located in portables classrooms. The campus is surrounded by a residential neighborhood on three sides, and the two-story classroom addition is designed as a campus identity viewed from the main drive. The project includes six kindergarten classrooms on the lower floor and six elementary classrooms on the upper floor, kindergarten playground with equipment, a pick-up and drop-off area, and a joint-use sports field. A new promenade connects all of the existing buildings with the new elements.

The kindergarten playground has a green-screen fence and new landscaping to provide shade for the children during play. The upper floor walkway includes an artistic composition of geometrical color panels set into a screen-wall system, creating a light-layering effect. The dynamic interplay between these elements creates a fun and stimulating environment for the students.

The design provides sustainable learning and teaching environments by using natural daylighting and natural ventilation in all classrooms. Roof-top equipment planning allows for photovoltaic solar cell installation so energy consumption is dramatically reduced. Cool-roof and sun-control shading devices reduce cooling demand. Interior and exterior finishes with recycled content contain no VOCs, interior acoustic control provides instruction clarity, and exterior noises are filtered through enhanced building envelope and glazing technologies. These collective sustainable strategies create a fun and timely setting for today's green learning environment.

This project earned a Project Achievement Award from the CMAA.


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