East Los Angeles Charter Middle School
Project Size: 42,500 SF
Berliner Architects is currently in the process of designing a new home for an inspiring tuition-free public charter middle school which will have a capacity of 490 students. This 2 story-facility will contain 22 classrooms, each of which will face south to take advantage of natural lighting.
The layout for East LA's new charter school dervies heavility from the particular focuses of its own curriculum. One of the most notable features of the school is an innovation lab which supports their STEAM-oriented teaching. In order to facilitate an additional emphasis on physical education, the charter school will include a retractable wall allowing for seamless connection of indoor spaces with an outdoor play area.
Client: Magnolia Public Schools - Santa Ana
Project Size: 57,000 SF
Berliner designed a new 750-student charter school for construction in Santa Ana, California. This two-story, 55,000-SF school serves grades K-12 for Magnolia Public Schools (MPS). MPS provides a college preparatory educational program emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in a safe environment that cultivates respect for self and others.
The design incorporates standard classrooms, lab classrooms, administration areas, a multi-purpose room and gymnasium. With separate entrances for the upper and lower schools, the design allows for the older and younger students to enjoy spaces independent of one another. Interior glass optimizes an open learning environment that builds a sense of community and connection.
Client: Nova Academy - Santa Ana
Project Size: 44,384 SF
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: Stratford School - Hollywood
Project Size: 53,000 SF
Stratford Schools, a very successful Northern California private school, teamed up with Berliner Architects to design a new private school in Hollywood – their first school in the burgeoning LA private school market. The existing 53,000 square foot building was renovated to house Pre-K to 8th grade students. Colorful window surrounds were added to give new branding to the building and add a new energy to the adjoining community. In order to meet pro forma enrollment numbers, dedicated exits were added to a mezzanine level for safe exiting of students in Kindergarten–second grade.
The success of the first school in a new market is crucial and 1200 Cahuenga will provide a solid foundation for future growth of Stratford Schools in the Los Angeles area.
Client: Fenton Academy Charter School
Project Size: 49,000 SF
Berliner Architects worked with Fenton Charter Schools on redeveloping an existing 49,000SF office building into a K-5 elementary school. Fenton Academy Charter School is organized into two schools representing two different types of education. The east side of the building represents the Fenton Leadership Academy: Center for Social and Emotional Learning for grades K-2, while the west side of the building represents the Fenton STEM Academy for grades 3-5. They are separated by a central core that includes shared administration and a multipurpose room.
The education at Fenton Sunland is supported by Yale University, which monitors how teaching social and emotional competencies affects academic progress and achievement.
Client: SCVi Charter School
Project Size: 20,000 SF
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: iLEAD Charter School
Project Size: 37,000 SF
iLEAD Lancaster is forward-thinking K-8 charter school in Lancaster, California. Berliner conducted a series of intensive Design Charrette meetings, bringing together school administrators, teachers, parents, students and the construction team to develop a program and to establish goals. The design time frame was extraordinarily tight; these meetings helped the team to rapidly develop and execute a successful design.
iLEAD Lancaster is designed to maximize the interaction amongst classes and grades, while maintaining a desirable sound level. To this end, the scheme utilizes a number of semi-enclosed “campfire hutches” designed to accommodate focused, teacher-driven instruction. Smaller “caves” are dispersed throughout the building to allow for quiet, individual study. Connecting each class is a communal “watering hole” to allow teachers to easily organize grade-wide activities and events. By strategically placing these elements, we have created a flexible, open learning environment.
Client: Alliance for College Ready Public Schools
Project Size: 54,000 SF
Berliner designed two new charter schools for construction on a dense, urban lot in East Los Angeles. Project and construction phasing was critical in managing the successful completion of both the middle and high school. Alliance Media Academy #8 Middle School serves 450 students and opened in September 2013. DSA-approved Alliance Media Arts Entertainment High School serving 600 students opened in September 2016.
Berliner's master planning of the site and close work with the County of Los Angeles eliminated the need for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), cutting months off the entitlements schedule.
The efficient design of the schools is sensitive to the scale and context of the neighborhood, and maximizes open space with a sheltering central courtyard for student gathering. This school is designed to comply with CHPS criteria and application was made for a High Performance Incentive Grant.
Client: High Tech - Los Angeles Charter High School
Project Size: 33,000 SF
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: Pacific Charter School Development / Green Dot Public Schools
Project Size: 40,000 SF
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 Unified School District (LAUSD)
Project Size: 8,500 SF
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.
Client: USC Hybrid High School
Project Size: 15,000 SF
Berliner Architects designed the home of USC Hybrid High, a new high school developed by the USC Rossier School of Education. The 15,000 square foot space is a conversion of office space located at 350 S. Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles.
The design joins technology and collaborative workspaces to create a modern classroom aimed at supporting a new teaching model. Plans include large learning lounges, two project rooms, an administrative suite, and a series of “huddle rooms” that can support small student groups. The core space is the learning lounge, a flexible, informal collection of tables and seats that can accommodate private and/or collaborative work. In this space the students can work in a more self-directed manner, with teachers and aides available for help when required. At the perimeter of the learning lounge is a number of auxiliary spaces that allow for more teacher-directed sessions with a group of students.