The Mater Gardens Academy Charter School is a 58,000-square-foot facility in
Miami-Dade County, Fla. The school was completed in August 2006 and is designed to accommodate up to 800 students. The school is situated within a planned residential community and was built as part of the developer’s requirement to mitigate the projected student-station needs CAPACITY800COST PER SQ FT$107.00FEATURED IN2007 Architectural Portfolio residents.
The two-story building is designed to harmonize with the architectural character of the residential development, while maintaining the civic scale of a neighborhood school. The school is organized along two circulation breezeways that face the parking lot and bus dropoff areas, respectively. The administrative offices are at one end of the linear building, and the cafeteria and multipurpose rooms are at the other. These two elements bookend the classroom component and comprise the building’s east and west facades.
In addition to classrooms, the facility includes a media lab/library, multipurpose room, double-height cafeteria, an outdoor basketball court and play area.
The entry tower on the northeast corner of the site addresses the neighborhood and provides shelter and accessible space for community residents. The project’s proximity to the adjacent homes is a reflection of a site-planning approach that attempts to integrate the school with its surroundings, rather than reject their adjacency.