Divine Savior Lutheran Academy Middle School is a 44,000-square-foot addition to an existing religious and educational campus in Doral, Fla. The existing campus was composed of a one-story sanctuary, administration and elementary classroom building. The new middle school was added to the east of the existing school and, although separated and CAPACITY460COST PER SQ FT$133.00FEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio taller, is intended to act as an extension of the main building.
The design of the campus yields a series of interconnected programmatic components that begins with the sanctuary to the west and culminates with the gymnasium to the east. The alignment of these elements enhances the institution’s presence on the main street, and preserves the picturesque qualities of a small academic campus composed of individual buildings.
The three-story addition has 24 regular classrooms, a science lab, media center, administration areas, kitchen and a regulation-size gymnasium. The architectural character of the exterior is intended to blend with the existing one-story school by way of the extension of an existing cornice element. The cornice establishes a horizontal datum upon which the new classroom building’s top two stories rest. The gymnasium is at the rear of the property and anchors the eastern edge of the site. The gymnasium’s primary facade redirects the east-west axis of the site toward the recreational field and playground areas.
The classroom wing is an extension of the existing wing of classrooms, and its central corridor is intersected by the building’s primary circulation spine leading toward the gymnasium. The gymnasium doubles as the school’s cafeteria, and has locker rooms and a multipurpose mezzanine on the second floor, overlooking the basketball court.