Sunshades were installed on our new Middle School in East Los Angeles as it’s getting ready to open at the end of November. As construction wraps up, finishing touches are being applied both inside and out so the school is ready to welcome students in the new year!
Berliner’s work on Loyola Law School’s Founders Hall was recently recognized as an Outstanding Interior Renovation design by American School & University in their August 2018 Educational Interiors Showcase issue.
The nation’s school and university administrators, as well as education architects, turn to American School & University for how-to features, insight, industry exclusive reports and research on the planning, design, construction, retrofit, operations, maintenance, security and management of education facilities. AS&U’s mission is to continue serving as the voice of the industry – not just reporting events, but also helping to shape the rapidly growing and evolving education facilities and business market. AS&U delivers important insight to today’s decision makers.
The interior of Loyola Law School’s Founders Hall had gone mostly untouched since the 1950s. As the administrative hub of the campus, it includes the Office of Admissions and the Social Justice Law Clinic. As the first point of introduction for prospective students, the refreshed Admissions Office on the first floor impresses with a modern and professional yet warm and inviting environment for students, faculty, and staff. The new interconnecting stairs helps to bridge the two floors with improved circulation. The portal at the landing of the stairs allow for a pleasant transition to the second floor, leading to the Social Justice Law Clinic where clients from underserved communities can access affordable and pro-bono legal services. A new bar style work bench and comfortable lounge chairs offer a safe and productive space for client consultations and attorney practice.
The Berliner Architects team recently visited the site of a new Charter Middle School in East LA. The new academy will serve 450 students, grades 6-8, and have a technology and innovation focused curriculum. The school was designed for a tight urban lot with surrounding buildings and a neighborhood to contend with. BA ultimately built the school, a type 3B structure, with three stories to accommodate the programming requirements on the small L-shaped lot while avoiding the commercial buildings on the northern side. The 1st floor is a non-combustible concrete podium and the upper two floors are wooden framed. 22 classrooms, a multi-purpose room, and 3 specialty rooms for art, music, and innovation create a 36,000 SF school.
The spacious 3,400 SF multi-purpose room on the western side of the school provides ample space for assemblies, performances, and social gatherings, as well as athletic activities, including cross-fit training. Designed with a huge garage door to maximize the indoor/outdoor space, the MPR opens onto an artificial turf play yard adjacent to the partially covered parking lot and drop-off zone.
The drop-off zone was designed without sharp turns or obstructions to ease the flow of pick up and drop off on the busy urban lot. The western and northern facades are wrapped with a green screen as per county requirements to lessen the risk of vandalism. The Olympic and Record Ave corner of the MPR is angled to accommodate pedestrian foot traffic on the street corner. A balcony offers views of the MRP from the 2nd floor classroom corridor. A rooftop deck above the MPR offers panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles.
The upper floors were designed with minimal hallways to maximize classroom space and ease navigation and improve circulation. Classrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors feature angled setback walls along the south side to break up the traditional long, straight, uniform corridor effect that many schools have as well as provide a visual trademark to the building. The majority of the classrooms face the southern, neighborhood side of the school while larger specialty classrooms are situated on the northern side of the building. Angled windows on the south side take advantage of morning sunlight in and have overhangs to limit warming in the afternoons.
Construction is set to be completed in November 2018 and the school will open in 2019.
Project Manager Lautaro Galvez, lead a tour of junior architects from the Berliner Team, teaching them lessons learned throughout the way. For some of the junior architects this was their first time on a commercial construction site and a ton of questions were asked. See below for snap shots from the tour!
Berliner Architects recently completed construction on a new middle and high school for Alliance Public Schools on First Street in East Los Angeles. The design of the project was driven by the desire to reinforce, invigorate, and revitalize the surrounding community. The two schools making up the First Street Campus are: Morgan McKinzie HS and College Ready Middle Academy 8.
For years the site had been home to the First Street Store, a department store that played an important role on this street, which is lined with two story buildings with storefront retail on the first floor and apartments above. The store is unique in that its façade contained 17 tile murals (5’x11’) depicting the Chicano history of this largely Hispanic community. The department store, however, had been vacant for several years, these murals were incorporated into the new First Street Campus and serve as a vital core for the surrounding community, many of which attend the new Middle & High School.
Berliner Architects recently completed the Founders Hall Project on the Loyola Law School Campus. As the student services hub of the campus, Loyola Law School's Founders Hall is the first point of introduction for prospective students and houses the Office of Admissions and the Social Justice Law Clinic. Largely untouched since the 1950s, The Admissions Office on the first floor was overdue for a refresh and is now a warm and inviting environment for students, faculty and staff. The new stairway improves circulation throughout the first and second floors and draws visitors upstairs to the new Social Justice Law Clinic.
We recently worked with Photographer Tom Bonner to photograph our new construction project for Alliance for College Ready Public Schools. the alliance school incorporates a middle and high school on a tight urban lot in East Los Angeles.
These renderings were created to celebrate the groundbreaking gala at Pressman Academy.
The Berliner Team would like to Congratulate Temple Beth Am on their 2018 Gala honoring Karen Fried, VP of Education, and Susan Hetsroni, President Board of Trustees. The theme of this year’s Gala was “Groundbreaking”, commemorating the beginning of the Sanctuary Renovation and the Pressman Academy Middle School, both slated to break ground this year.
The New Pressman Academy Middle School building encourages student agency, allowing the children of TBA to grow and then succeed as leaders in this changing world. The planning principles address the needs of the whole child and the their community, creating a place where multiple generations of TBA members can claim as their own.
In preparation for the gala, the Berliner team worked with a rendering specialist to highlight the significance of the Boulevard, an avenue running between the Temple and the school which was previously an alleyway. This central space is cradled by the new school, drawing members in from La Cienega, bowing out to create a pedestrian zone, and then angling back towards the existing Ganzberg building. Just as middle school is a bridge between childhood and adulthood, the planning of the school itself mimics that connection by bridging the K-5 classes and the Temple, where their spirituality can continue to grow.
During the ceremony the first set of pavers to be installed in the boulevard were auctioned off, with anticipation of future sets to be engraved over time, showing a history of the Temple’s growth. These aggregate pavers use recycled shells, harking back to the area of La Cienega where Temple Beth Am sits, previously a marshland. These references to the indigenous Landscape of Los Angeles and Isreal are carried throughout the Campus Revitalization and Pressman Academy design. Check out the project page for further information!
Berliner Architects has been working with LAUSD Dorsey High School who received a California Department of Education Industry Grant enabling the expansion and capabilities of the existing Media, Arts, and Theatre Pathway. Industrial Arts Building #1 on the campus will have a new broadcast room, collaboration space, and instructional learning classroom. The new facility will provide state of the art learning spaces that will put students on a pathway to quintessential California media and entertainment careers and opportunities. The space will also host the CalArts Community Arts Partnership, a high performing program for college and career readiness that uses a project based learning model to help students develop technical proficiency, visual literacy, critical thinking and analysis of the arts through storytelling, screen writing and production courses.
The first of 40+ shipping containers arrives at the new Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) facility. The modular containers create the framework for the Lafayette Park facility which will house the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and have a large ensemble room, two small ensemble rooms, 18 classrooms, four smart start club rooms, and five offices, as well as the capability to open to the park for public performances. The shipping containers were all assembled within two weeks of the first container being delivered.
Check out a time-lapse below!
We love the opportunity presented by the California Charter Schools Association Conference to share our work and connect with educators and innovators in the field. We invite all CCSA attendees to join us at our Booth #1634.
Before the conference begins, we will be present at the Developer's Summit on the topic Questions to Ask to Get the School You Want: Interacting with Your Development Team. Richard Berliner, Ashley Johnson, and Kai Telless will present to those new to the development process. Too often when an organization approaches a designer for their new school, they are missing key information that the designer needs to make their dream school a reality.
Attendees will build a vocabulary of common development terms and use our template as a guide for creating a design brief that lays out the priorities and spacial needs of their school. With this brief seminar we hope to empower the school team to communicate confidently to architects and other players in the development sphere.
We may be a day late but we have a lot to be proud of - according to data from the A.I.A., women make up approximately 25% of the architecture industry. Here at Berliner Architects, we can proudly say we have assembled a great team that is 50% women!
Exciting progress is being made at our residential project in Pacific Palisades. This three-story, 11,750 SF home is a new ground-up construction personalized to the owner's taste. It features open concept rooms with large windows and tall, manicured hedges that provide privacy from the adjacent street. The home is an "L" shape with rounded corners where the two lengths of the house meet, creating an organic flow throughout the sweeping residence. Angular ceilings at the staircase create visual interest and allow for optimal lighting from a skylight above. Framing began in the Fall of 2016. With the drywall now installed, it's time to incorporate the interior finishes and landscape details that will bring the home together.
Check out our progress, from framing to drywall below, and check back later for the completed project!
The Advanced Technology Education Park (ATEP) is a educational component of the Tustin Legacy Project, a large scale development with a mix of retail, commercial/business, residential and recreational uses located in Tustin, CA on the old Marine Corps Air Station site. ATEP will be lead by the South Orange County Community College District that includes Saddleback and Irvine Valley College. With nearby amenities such as the Tustin Metrolink Station and mixed used retail and entertainment venues, ATEP has the opportunity to become an innovative education park that changes the way students interact with their environment and prospective private business that will reside within the site. ATEP is seen as a node that involves a new method of innovation, where public and private ventures are juxtaposed to create a porous environment of thought and creation.
One of the challenges presented while establishing the design guidelines was how to create a porous site where the main circulation is not tied to one single walkway path, but to provide multiple vines that guide the user to different experiences within the site. Working together with landscape architects RELM, we decided to create three main circulations:
- Paseos that lead to the main entrances of each building are differentiated by its hardscape, and are anchored by building entrances.
- Street facing paths are designed with sidewalks incorporating trees on both sides. The main goal was to incorporate the façade articulation of each building with a subtle walkway.
- The main artery is the center of the park, designed with multiple paths, each lead to a different user experience. It will be anchored on both sides with building facades that are more transparent and that open to the outside space. This in turn creates an open environment where paths and the massing of building façade treatments are subtle and create a seamless transition from the outside to the inside.
The focus of these different circulation paths is to increase interaction on the campus between the start up businesses and the college students, this increased interaction will give students a modern day education, where they can directly interact with businesses providing a modern career-technical education.
For more information about ATEP visit: http://www.atepland.com/
We're making great progress on the East Los Angeles Charter Middle School. Construction began October 2017 and this week the framing has gone up for the multipurpose room. The resulting building will be a 2 story-facility containing 22 classrooms, each of which face the south, allowing for natural light in all classrooms. This new East Los Angeles Charter Middle School will focus on STEAM education.
Continuing our long standing relationship, beginning with the design of High-Tech Los Angeles High School, Berliner is currently designing a new middle school for High-Tech LA students grades 6 through 8. Now starting construction documents, the new middle school is intended as a gateway school to the existing HTLA High School. The new 29,000 SF school supports STEM education through a combination of traditional classrooms and collaborative work spaces.
Located on the same campus as the Lenox YMCA, the school is working with the Y for shared facilities so that HTLA students may use the YMCA gym and pool and that the YMCA could use the school's Multi Purpose Room.
Introducing one of Berliner's fantastic workers - meet Betty! She's the official office dog and works part time, many of you have met her when stopping by our office. She's a great co-worker who brings the cuteness and specializes in greeting customers and consultants, chewing on antlers and snuggling with her favorite toy pig.
Her profile is up on our team page, get to know her and the rest of the awesome team here at Berliner!
Last week we shared our work on renovating the science and robotics labs at LAUSD Wright Middle School, a S.T.E.A.M. magnet school with a focus on project based learning in science and technology. We're happy to share the fundraising efforts of Mrs. Romero, a science teacher at Wright, who is raising money to provide her students with three Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robotics core kits.
The deadline for funding is February 9, 2018. You can help support Mrs. Romero and her students here.
And check out our last blog on the work we're doing to create a new makers space for the robotics lab at Wright Middle School.
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.
Photos and Video by Juhn Kwon Photography
Teamwork is at the heart of how Berliner Architects finds unique solutions, shares ideas, and creates spaces for our clients that are both functional and inspiring. We strengthen our firm through new appointments that recognize the good work our team members have done with and for our clients.
We are pleased to announce that Prithwish Gupta and Minah Yeo have been appointed Senior Associates. Appointed to Associate are Ashley Johnson and Kai Telles. They look forward to working with our clients and partners, continuing to create nurturing environments, improve outcomes and productivity, adapt to new technology and operate in a cost-effective manner.