The rule of three

15 Mar 2011

Prefab design for educational institutions presented by Gonzalez Goodale Architects

In light of its diminishing budget, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) recently ran an open, two-phase competition inviting architects and designers to compose a 30,000 sq ft prototype academic building for a number of pilot schools. An estimate of $64m has been touted for a scheme of 4-5 new educational facilities.

Gonzalez Goodale Architects was one of three selected winners with other local practices Hodgetts+Fung and Swift Lee Office. Gonzalez Goodale’s design concept is simple; a range of highly flexible spaces which do not confine the educational experience to the interior. "There's a thesis here that students need a place that opens out to nature, to the sky, to the city; a place that supports expansive dreaming," says David L. Goodale, AIA, GGA design principal.

The practice’s concept is comprised of a two-storey and three-story scheme whose interiors can be easily adapted to form classrooms, labs, expanded team-project teaching spaces, libraries, labs, local district offices, and multi-purpose spaces. By employing the use of economical prefabricated components such as a curtain wall, lift system and rain-screen finish panels, the prototype system suggests that large savings can be made with repeat projects.

The modular shell structure features a distinguishing canted roof and glass curtain wall system which affords maximum daylighting into the expansive interior space. The school's garden area features permeable paving strips with no-mow grass-crete whilst the concealed rooftop solar collectors are twice as efficient as normal solar cells, helping increase the energy efficiency of the building.


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