Enriching the education process

07 Mar 2011

Mark Cavagnero Associates completes new addition for Trinity School in California

The Trinity School Enrichment Center is a modest, 5,200 sq ft expansion to an independent K-5 school located in Menlo Park, California. The project provided the opportunity to create a stronger entry to and identity for the school. The addition, which includes music, science and arts classrooms as well as administrative offices, was sited to establish a new heart for the campus and to bring definition to the previously unclear entry experience.

Beyond providing much-desired program space, the project provides two covered terraces that knit the addition into the existing campus. The terraces and a monumental stair create a new formal gathering space for the community of students and teachers that spend their days on the campus. Between classes and during lunch the terraces and the stair are also used as places for casual gathering. Additionally, the main stair greatly improves the circulation between the two levels of the school and provides direct access to the coveted lush lower yard and play areas.

The new and remarkably flexible classrooms offer glazing and natural light from three sides and provide panoramic views of the hilly and picturesque landscape surrounding the school. Overhangs and building orientation minimise solar gains while optimising the benefits of daylighting, and the abundance of controlled natural light contributes to a comfortable and healthy learning environment for the students. Other green design elements include natural cooling through cross ventilation and high thermal mass construction, and radiant floor heating, which efficiently improves the indoor comfort and air quality. The project was completed in August 2008.

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