Dena Primary Center

Los Angeles, California

  • FIRM

    Rachlin Architects


    Los Angeles Unified School District

  • AREA

    27,000 sq.ft.





The architect was commissioned to design a tranquil, 27,000-square-foot educational oasis to serve as a nurturing buffer to the surrounding hustle and bustle of the inner city.

The program also demanded an innovative, out-of-the-ordinary multipurpose room to accommodate both student and local community functions, in addition to 10 classrooms for 250 students, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$315.00CITATIONElementary School CitationFEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYMultipurpose Rooms library, food service and administrative offices.

The designers created a colorful, inspiring primary center, which opened its doors in fall 2005—the first primary school built in 50 years in the Boyle Heights district of East Los Angeles. The design includes varied materials, such as plaster, glass and galvanized metal, extensive use of daylighting, and playful colors that generate an educationally stimulating, child-friendly environment.

The end result is the Dena Primary Center—an exciting learning environment for grades K to 2, as well as the object of renewed neighborhood pride in the inner city.

"The design expresses the joy of learning. The use of vibrant colors and materials will generate fun for the students."--2006 AP jury