John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects
1461 E 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
213 253 4740
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c. JFAK, 2020
This 3500 square-foot building includes a new aftercare facility, kitchen, and classroom for Pluralistic School #1, an existing private elementary school in Santa Monica. Sitting between the school’s existing buildings and its athletic fields, the structure unifies the campus with a new circulation system that loops between the classrooms and the open space.
Including flexibly arranged areas for homework, crafts, and cooking, its location adjacent to the basketball court, soccer field, and general play yard assures easy flow between the various interior and exterior activities. Upstairs, the new classroom (with mezzanine), looks west over the fields to catch the ocean breezes and minimize the intrusion of noise from the yards below.
Throughout the project, structure is exposed so that the students can learn from the logic of construction. Generous use of windows and skylights creates a naturally ventilated, luminous environment in which students find it easy to concentrate. The project includes no air conditioning system and uses minimal energy or artificial lighting.
The exterior is clad in plaster and shiplapped cement board. Its joyful pattern draws from the school’s colors and reflects the sense of directed play that occurs both inside and outside its walls.