Mater Academy East is a public charter school in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami. The school was completed in August 2003 and serves 450 elementary school students. The site is in a dense urban neighborhood of predominantly multi-family residential buildings.
The corner site previously contained three small, single-family homes and presented challenges for ASSOCIATED FIRMThe Corradino GroupCAPACITY450COST PER SQ FT$105.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio design for a school that was to accommodate more than 400 students. A three-story approach provided the only viable solution to accommodating the required capacity. An existing two-story building on an adjacent site provides programmatic support areas for the school, such as the cafeteria, library and computer labs.
The building is a simple three-story concrete block and stucco “box” with repetitive window bays, interrupted by the entry. Layered stucco details provide the otherwise plain facade with the stylistic elements that give the building its character.
The urban design strategy includes the acknowledgment of the site’s corner location by providing a small public plaza for parents and students to gather safely. The building’s scale and character are civic in nature, while also respectful of the neighborhood’s residential characteristics.