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LA high school takes design cue from historic Mexican architecture

October 01, 2009 |

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently opened the $75 million Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez Learning Center, a high school in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, near Little Tokyo. Designed by Nadel Architects in a joint venture with Barrio Planners Inc., the 114,000-sf school is vertically integrated, allowing the campus to fit on a compact, six-acre site. The architects incorporated traditional Mexican design features, including vibrant colors, bold geometric shapes, deeply recessed windows, and colonnades. The learning center consists of two, 500-student learning communities with courtyards that open into a central plaza. It is the first high school to open in East Los Angeles in more than 85 years.

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