KLA Academy

Miami, Florida


Civica, LLC


KLA Elementary LLC


131,337 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


Design Team
Rolando Llanes, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Julio Guillen, AIA, Senior Associate/Project Manager; German Delgadillo, Architectural Associate

The KLA Academy school in Miami’s urban core is part of a pioneering network of Reggio Emilia-inspired preschools that have expanded into elementary education. An important concept in Reggio Emilia schools is that the built environment plays a prominent role in a student’s academic and social development. To that end, the design of the preK-5 facility, from its outdoor spaces to its indoor instructional spaces, honors this concept.

Built on a half-acre acre lot in The Roads neighborhood of Miami, the five-level school fronts a public park and is adjacent to Interstate 95. The tight urban site precipitated the need for a vertical campus design. The ground level provides independent lobbies for each educational cohort, a 200-plus-seat performing arts theater, an internal pickup and drop-off drive, and structured parking for 45 vehicles. The upper levels provide instructional rooms, an indoor play area for toddlers, a common cafeteria and three distinct “piazzas” that serve as the school’s “public spaces.” The piazzas occur on the second through fourth levels and are designed for maximum flexibility as instructional spaces and recreational activity zones. The three piazzas face the public park and provide students with a visually powerful connection to the natural environment—a characteristic that often informs the nature of the activities that take place in those spaces.

In addition to the indoor play area on the second floor, the facility has a 30,000-square-foot outdoor play area on the fifth level. This amenity, essential to the Reggio Emilia concept, has multiple surfaces and spaces that accommodate a variety of outdoor activities. The rooftop offers spectacular views of downtown Miami and the Brickell Avenue neighborhood, providing students in this urban school with another distinct and memorable connection to the city beyond.

Additional Information

Associated Firm

BDI Construction



Cost per Sq Ft


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