The education program requirements for Carlmont High School in Belmont, Calif., included two new two-story classroom buildings—one 7,500-square-foot building and one 9,500-square-foot science building—housing eight additional classrooms, three science classrooms, laboratories with prep rooms, teachers’ office, lounge, career center and copy center. An elevator tower and FEATURED IN2000 Architectural Portfolio amphitheater with upper and lower plazas join the two buildings.
To fully comprehend the project’s human requirements, the architect conducted a survey of students and teachers. The response revealed not only a need for additional facilities, but also a belief that the existing campus lacked a physical and social heart. Students felt that the old buildings were institutional-looking and unattractive.
The response was to install an upper and lower plaza to create an expansive central gathering area. The staff lounge, student offices and activity rooms are adjacent to the plaza to draw students, teachers and the public together. Design details, such as curved canopies and decorative metal awnings, greatly enhance the new architecture of the campus and provide a more contemporary feel. The elevator tower provides a visual focal point.
Photographer: ©Donna Kempner