LAUSD Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet
Project Size: 3,800 SF
LAUSD Wright Middle School is a S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) magnet school where Berliner Architects has taken on the challenge of renovating two of their existing spaces to meet the current and future needs of this interdisciplinary school. These two new classrooms include an expanded Robotics Classroom and a new Flexible Engineering Classroom.
An important part of the visioning process for the new facilities included a half-day design charrette held by Berliner Architects with the teachers and students in the actual space to be renovated. After a group discussion, the students engaged in space planning exercises on architectural plans to better understand their future space and get insight into the field of architecture. During the visioning, students emphasized a desire for multiple-zones within the classroom to be able to have traditional, directed learning alongside teacher-approved downtime. In response, the design team planned for soft, informal seating in addition to adjustable height tables on lockable casters.
Listening to the students describe the types of projects they work on, Berliner Architects hoped to highlight that enthusiasm through display of robots-in-progress. Instead of hiding away their designs, the design team chose to create shelving in display cases so that students could see what others are working on, both in active discussion during class time, and passively through the room’s decoration.
Bright Star Schools - Stella Middle Charter Academy
Project Size: 38,730 SF
Berliner Architects is currently designing a new three-story building for Bright Star Schools’ Stella Middle Charter School. Included is a classroom building, gym, and shaded lunch area for 500 students, which will be located in the vacant area of an existing church site and sharing 134 space parking lot with the church.
The new building will accommodate 21 classrooms and administration areas -- the administration area on the ground floor will be positioned along the south wall and is open to the play area, a synthetic turf playing field, creating a more open and transparent visual access and allowing maximum interaction with the students.
The gym is large enough to accommodate a basketball court, and there will be a shaded outdoor dining area where students can eat their lunch adjacent to the play area.
High Tech Los Angeles Middle School
Project Size: 29,000 SF
Continuing our long standing relationship, beginning with the design of High Tech High, Berliner is designing a new middle school receiving grades 6-8. The school is intended as a feeder HTLA High School. The new 29,000SF school supports STEM education through a combination of traditional classrooms and collaborative work spaces. Located with the Lenox YMCA, the campus will allow the school and Y shared facilities with students using the Y gym and pool.
Los Angeles Private Middle School
Project Size: 35,000 SF
The design process for this private middle school began with a series of visioning meetings that involved every one of its teachers, the administration, leaders, and the greater community. These meetings informed the conceptual intent for the project; a thoroughly contemporary learning environment filled with maker spaces and incorporating space for the community as well as the school program.
The resulting design is not the typical double-loaded corridor layout used in most middle schools, but a more flexible and open plan which immediately allows visitors to understand an alternative learning model is in play. A high level of connectivity between indoors and outdoors establishes a visual and spatial sense of the community. The plan is additionally designed to be accomplished in phases, allowing for greater flexibility in the construction process.
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: 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 a 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: 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
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: USC Hybrid High School
Project Size: 15,000 SF
Berliner and Associates Architecture 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 are a number of auxiliary spaces that allow for more teacher-directed sessions with a group of students
Client: Los Angeles Unified School District
Project Size: 25,000 SF
Berliner and Associates Architecture presented a scalable building offering a variety of learning and collaboration spaces as part of a design competition hosted by Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Berliner’s submittal answered LAUSD’s call for creative and innovative concepts for a core and shell building that could be used for a variety of K-12 programs. The design supports Small Learning Communities through its open and visually integrated interior spaces, combining classroom spaces with useable teaching spaces in between. The two-story configuration is suitable for adaptation to existing school sites with limited land area and the module design offers flexibility in configuration and size.