Thousand Oaks Elementary School

Berkeley, California

A new K-5 elementary school is the result of a collaboration of the community and preservationists. It replaces an older landmarked school, in a neighborhood of craftsman cottages and Mediterranean public buildings. Computer-generated 3-D images and real-time “walkthroughs” were instrumental in helping the community visualize the new school and build consensus.

The ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY410COST PER SQ FT$229.00CITATIONElementary School CitationFEATURED IN2001 Architectural Portfolio design recreates original historical elements, including wood beams, tile roofs, a traditional stage and an entire kindergarten classroom.

Two one-story classroom clusters are separated by the multipurpose room, library and administrative area. L-shaped classrooms create activity alcoves indoors and out. The library’s central location, sloped tile roof, and special detailing express its prominence in the educational process.

The lowest portion of the site is a natural area with trees, grass and a creek, shared with the neighborhood as a park. Grading of the gently sloping site allows the library to “bridge” over the main access to the playground and park.

"A neighborhood school that evolved from an inclusive process. Nice natural light."--2001 jury