Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

Los Angeles, USA
2008

John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
www. jfak. net

The challenge of providing inner city youth with a college preparatory education has long been a major concern for parents in South Los Angeles. Population growth and a lack of new high school buildings has led to chronic overcrowding in the public school system.

The Los Angeles International Charter High Schools (LAICHS), provides parents with a viable alternative to the traditional public schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Charter High Schools aim to provide a safe, supportive learning environment with a high teacher to student ratio. Within this framework students apply their classroom learning to the wider world through local business internships and community service programmes.

The Green Dot project adapted redundant clothing manufacturing warehouses for use as LAICHS
school buildings, providing a much needed facility and a strong model for sustainable urban redevelopment. The scheme would provide a useful case study for students looking for examples of how the real world of work functions. East 27th Street fittingly forms a division line between a neighbourhood of single family residences and an industrial zone. The interconnected one storey buildings, with a new second floor in the taller section, now provide two separate school facilities with a combined floor space of 77,173 square feet. The schools share a gymnasium, a library and a food preparation area in the middle of the first floor. Detailed floor space allocation is illustrated on the architect’s drawings (Fig. 4, Fig. 6).

Population I 3,833,995 Coordinates | 34’03’N 118°15’W Elevation I 71 m (city hall) (233’) Precipitation I 384.6mm (15.14 “)

Temperature | Average High:

75.6 C (24.22 F) Average Low:

56.6 C (13.67F)

Humidity I 71.5%

 

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

42 Green Dot E. 27th Street Charter High Schools | Phoenix | USA | Fig. 1 above | Fig. 2 opposite

J. A. Flannery, K. M. Smith, Eco-UrbanDesign, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-0369-8_5, © Springer Science+Business Media B. V. 2011

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

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Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

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The requirement to create distinctive, formal identities for the two schools was achieved through emphasising the established differences between the two buildings, particularly the contrast between the masonry and concrete facades. Circulation paths were separated by placing the shared facilities in the middle of the first floor. Use of colour further identifies Animo Justice School from Animo Ralph Bunche, animating the whole campus.

A wide stairway, characterised by a canopy constructed from structural steel, creates a dramatic, elevated entrance to Animo Ralph Bunche (Fig. 7, Fig. 8). The stairway’s balustrade provides edge protection by the use of a dot patterned mesh siding. The use of planting to yard areas and facades softens and enlivens the industrial nature retained in the architecture (Fig. 10). The steel framework of the canopy is designed to facilitate the future installation of photovoltaic panels.

A crucial element of the design was the need to
bring natural daylight into every occupied room in the interior of the building. The strategy employed throughout was the installation of vertical and horizontal skylights. The positioning and shape of the skylights varies within the 46 classrooms, 4 science labs and other key facilities. The skylights are tinted to reduce harmful glare and mitigate solar gain (Figs. 11 to 16 inclusive). The effectiveness of the skylights was greatly enhanced by the considered angular profiling of the space between roof and ceiling to maximise light penetration to the deeper recesses of the rooms (Fig. 12). Light is also borrowed from room to room by the use of high level glazing to internal walls (Fig. 13).

The whole project from commencing design and permits in August 2007, through construction, to completion and occupation in September 2008 was achieved with a restricted budget of $13.1 million.

Green Dot East 27th Street is the first LEED – certified charter school facility in Los Angeles.

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High SchoolsGreen Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools

Green Dot E. 27th Street. Charter High Schools