Energy efficiency is one of the main attributes of this imposing public school built on a challenging lot in Los Angeles County, USA. The masterminds at Brooks + Scarpa took after the similarly situated schools of Curtis and Davis in New Orleans and created a place for learning that feels comfortable, while also setting an example for alternative energy use. No less than 650 solar panels were used to clad the south facade, providing 75% of the building’s energy needs.
An array of creative approaches rule out the idea of conventional when it comes to this project:”A landscaped courtyard with multifunctional bleacher terracing flows into the open-air covered lobby and the multilayered paseo, lending the school the appeal of a collegiate campus and offering significant environmental benefits—improving day lighting and access to fresh air both inside and out—while providing substantial cost savings by limiting artificial lighting and thermal conditioning to the smaller enclosed space“. [Photography: John Linden]
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts