Learning space, specifically for the subjects of history and math at a high school level, have traditionally resided within the enclosed ‘classroom’, in which notions of outdoor learning and flexible space are deemed secondary. Current curriculum begins to challenge this notion, and the Patrick Henry Classroom Building provides a vessel in which the enclosed ‘classroom’ is questioned. Further, the typology of the double-loaded corridor continues to challenge, typically deriving from constraints of density, restricted real estate, and the search for structural efficiency. With such parameters defined, two main opportunities arise; how to offer functioning learning spaces within transitional circulatory zones, and providing natural daylight in an egalitarian way, especially for ground level interior space. The Patrick Henry Classroom Building looks to activate both by pulling this double-loaded typology apart. To provide moments of outdoor learning within and adjacent to the project, a diverse range of landscaped and building transitional spaces are ‘slowed’, allowing students to stop, rest, and define social interactions. The main staircase widens to create informal seating and presentation space, and the three classroom wings separate, creating a primary and fully exterior circulatory artery, nearly 25 feet wide, doubling as gathering and outdoor classroom areas. This release also gives way to large light wells that pour light to the ground level breezeway and classroom north faces. Additional landscaping surrounding the building frames and defines a multitude of outdoor learning, presentation, and study areas. Derived as an extension of the original 1960’s overall campus finger plan, this project takes advantage of its east west orientation and opens each learning space completely to the north, flooding them with ample indirect daylight. Temperate San Diego climate gives way to operable windows on the north glazed curtain walls, naturally ventilating each learning space. The south wall face thickens and strategic placement of shade trees mitigate heat gain considerably, providing manageable and efficient thermal comfort. The building consists of 24 general classrooms and 2 ROP classrooms, which serve as a functioning preschool/daycare and observation room. Careful consideration was made to separate age groups and student/parent drop-off, allowing the ROP to occupy ground level within the west wing, with fenced play yard directly adjacent. A flexible lecture hall/classroom area resides atop the ROP classrooms. Vertically and rooftop arrayed photovoltaic panels will provide 107% of the buildings net annual load, making this facility net zero energy.
San Diego Unified School District
Teaching Stations - 40