The challenge with the Pinewood School was to manage a tight site, difficult neighbors, overreaching planning departments, and heritage trees on the property all while allowing the school to remain open during a phased construction.
Working closely with teachers, parents and neighbors, we designed a new K-2 campus capable of supporting enhanced arts and science enrichment programs. An emphasis was placed on creating a warm, inviting first-school experience for young children that felt as comfortable to a child as learning at home. By engaging in numerous neighborhood meetings throughout the project design, we were able to incorporate the needs and concerns of multiple groups into a design pleasing to both the users and the community.
The end result was a safe and healthy place for learning that is comfortable for young students and teachers alike. By dividing the campus into three buildings with delineated features, the design blends into the residential fabric of the neighborhood as required by neighbors and planning. This approach provided a central courtyard that acts as an outdoor classroom, while serving to provide child safety and reducing noise to adjacent residential neighbors. The heritage redwood trees were preserved as a focal point for the courtyard.
The facility includes a small performance theater and doubles the previous square footage devoted to classroom space. Classrooms take full advantage of natural light while large overhangs reduce glare.