Thinking outside the box, LPA Inc. is designing a school inside a box. With an emphasis on three E’s—Engage, Educate, and Empower—e3 Civic High is now being constructed on the sixth and seventh floors of a public library in downtown San Diego. Library patrons will be able to see into the school via glass elevators, but will not have physical access to the school.
Learning studios at e3 have been organized in “villages” that are clustered around a shared commons and teaming rooms. To foster impromptu “collisions” of students, faculty, and staff, the design employs a number of strategic spaces:
• Entry – Deliberately leaving out an enclosed lobby and central administration area, visitors enter directly into the school.
• The Park – Supported by controllable lighting, soft furniture, and technology integration, this “living room” setting can also double as a studio space.
• The Plaza – An active gathering space for presentation, performance, and dining.
• Steps – The central staircase connecting the two floors doubles as a social learning space, a circulation route, studio, physical education area, and a place for industry speakers to engage with students.
• Interactive Wall – Linking the villages, the Interactive/Living Wall is a space that students can write on, post displays, or even sit on.
• Gallery – Lined with whiteboard surfaces and specialty lighting, the centrally located gallery provides a blank canvas for students to curate.
The project is tracking LEED Gold certification.
For more on the project, visit: http://blog.lpainc.com/lpa-blog/bid/95713/Urban-Education-The-story-behind-e3-Civic-High-Part-2.