Client: Nova Academy - Santa Ana
Project Size: 44,384 SF
Budget: $3,000,000

Located in a prominent location across from Santa Ana City Hall, the future home of the NOVA Academy is a 4 story office building that Berliner has been charged with converting to a hi-tech charter school serving students from surrounding low-income neighborhoods. Berliner completed a thorough code analysis process, determining the extent of upgrades required to concert the occupancy classification from B (offices) to E (educational). This work includes additional means of egress, fire rating of corridors, and structural upgrades. Originally built in 1981 with a “pre-Northridge” steel moment frame system, the building requires an extensive seismic strengthening as result of the change of occupancy. To this end, Berliner and our consultants evaluated a diverse range of strategies, ultimately landing on an innovative fluid damper retrofit system. This approach will alleviate the need for works to enlarge the foundations, saving valuable time and resources. Additionally, the renovation will fully update and modernize the facilities – including a fitness center and student resource hub. 


Client: Fenton Academy Charter School
Project Size: 49,000 SF
Budget: $5,600,000

Berliner Architects is working with Fenton Charter Schools on redeveloping an existing 49,000SF office building into a K-5 elementary school. Fenton Academy Charter School will be organized into two schools representing two different types of education. The east side of the building will represent the Fenton Leadership Academy: Center for Social and Emotional Learning for grades K-2, while the west side of the building will represent the Fenton STEM Academy for grades 3-5. They will be separated by a central core that will include shared administration and a multipurpose room. 

The education at Fenton Sunland will be supported by Yale University, who will
be monitoring how teaching social and emotional competencies affects academic progress and achievement.


Client: High Tech - Los Angeles Charter High School
Project Size: 33,000 SF
Budget: $10,300,000

HT-LA is a charter high school dedicated to fusing the traditional academic subjects with real-world, technical applications and problem solving skills. 

Berliner's architectural design of HT-LA is a dramatic expression of the school’s innovative curriculum, teaching methods and technology. Natural light fills the spaces and bright colors are used throughout the school’s interior to create an uplifting and inspiring environment for students and teachers. The resulting ambiance is more similar to a collaborative workplace rather than a typical classroom setting, which fits well with the active learners HT-LA attracts. 

The California Energy Department recognized HT-LA with an honorable mention for its innovative energy conservation and performance design. In 2013, HT-LA was ranked as the #1 Charter High School in California, by the USC School Performance Dashboard report. 


Client: SCVi Charter School
Project Size: 20,000 SF
Budget: $2,500,000

SCVi is a K-12 charter school designed to meet the need of the growing spectrum of culturally minded parents seeking a well-versed education for their children. The school made its home in an existing retail shopping center. Berliner was hired to develop the center into an educational campus that enhances the school's project-based learning approach. To that end, the architectural design focuses on open, flexible classrooms that encourage interaction between classmates and grade levels. Architecturally designed objects, such as the serpentine bench or the formation of an artificial mountain ridge, define smaller spaces within the greater space. These spaces become gathering and reading areas, promoting collaboration and openness.

The design was created to maximize a Tenant Improvement budget to meet the school’s current needs and plan for future growth.


Client: Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
Project Size: 8,500 SF
Budget: $1,325,000

Berliner completed a modernization / adaptive reuse project on the campus of LAUSD’s Cleveland High School, converting a print and metal shop into a New Media Academy. 

The 8,000-SF space includes areas for instruction in new media technologies, including 3D Visualization, Graphic Design, and Web Site Design. A new state-of-the-art television production studio is also included in the program, which provides recording, editing, and production facilities for the students. The design includes the addition of a 3,000-SF seismically isolated mezzanine for teacher offices, additional meeting space, work stations and a new elevator. The design concept creates spaces similar to those of professional creative production studios to better prepare students for future employment in a contemporary work environment

An assessment of existing conditions of the 1960’s-era property was completed, including review of as-built drawings and extensive site surveys. The space was brought into compliance with ADA, seismic, and Fire Life Safety requirements. Complete modernization of mechanical, electrical and data infrastructure was accomplished as part of the renovation.


Client: Pacific Charter School Development / Green Dot Public Schools
Project Size: 40,000 SF
Budget: $6,000,000

Animo Pat Brown Charter High School is a 550-student facility in the Florence area of Los Angeles, California. Berliner collaborated closely with Pacific Charter School Development and Green DOT Public Schools to convert a former 40,000-SF furniture factory into a state-of-the-art, 550-student high school. Berliner performed targeted community outreach to facilitate the change-of-use Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process with the County of Los Angeles, as well as post-occupancy interviews. The school opened within 12 months, including design, CUP, permitting and construction.

Designed to create a Small School Environment, the building is organized around wide hallways that serve as streets and plazas, creating natural points for gathering and informal learning. A large outdoor field provides much needed play space for students. The design incorporates sustainable design elements throughout, including the introduction of natural light for all learning spaces, and achieved a LEED Silver Certification. 


Client: Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)
Project Size: 18.5 Acres
Budget: N/A

Firestone Educational Center is planned as a satellite campus of LACCD's East Los Angeles College, which will ultimately accommodate 12,000 students. The site comprises 18.5 acres, including more than 800,000 SF of existing manufacturing and warehouse buildings to be adaptively reused. The enormous scale of the buildings means that much of the “campus” will actually be indoors under vast, sky-lit roofs.

Berliner's Master Plan thoroughly analyzes and addresses the complex issues of the site, including preservation of historical architectural features, structural reinforcement of existing industrial buildings, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, new site access points, phasing, and a sustainable development strategy for the site and the buildings, with an anticipated minimum LEED Gold certification.


Client: Berliner and Associates Architecture 
Project Size: 4,500 SF

Berliner’s office is a showcase of ideas for adaptive re-use of a classic commercial building.  Originally built for light industrial and retail-type uses, the building was renovated for new life as a professional office space. 

The open plan of the space and extensive use of glass partitions facilitates collaboration and ease of communication.  New workstations and partitions in natural wood and bright accent colors define various work areas while maintaining the openness of the space.  Their character complements the building’s exposed wooden bow truss roof and raw concrete blocks.  Plentiful natural light permeates the space from skylights and large windows.  Berliner repurposed a commercial product intended to support raised flooring as wall-mounted, magnetic display panels which serves as an innovative way to display and collaborate on our latest work.