LA-LA Land

Positive thinking underlies lively new school design in LA

by Amy 25 October 2011
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    A simple box of crayons served as the inspiration and organisational concept behind this new single-storey elementary school facility. The design highlights the use of different primary shapes and colours throughout the school, formalizing a unique, energetic theme.

    Colours were integrated into the design not only to evoke a sense of excitement and positive emotion from its users, but also to provide a basic functional way-finding strategy that could be easily understood by students, faculty and guests to better navigate and interact with the building.

    The programme called for thirty-two spacious classrooms, a library, a large multi-purpose space (700-seat capacity), a cafeteria, special education classrooms, computer labs and an administrative department.

    Classrooms were divided into three separate wings according to the students' grade level. Each wing was transformed into unmistakably identifiable landmarks due to their themed colours and unique repetitive shapes; orange squares, yellow circles and green triangles.

    Hallway patterns pull apart like Lego to create individual dynamic paths. A single connecting corridor articulates the three separate wings for increased functionality, observation and security. Bright colours continue out to the exterior skin of the building in the form of coloured wall panels and painted concrete masonry blocks.

    Identifiable massing and silhouettes of coloured building blocks are easily recognized from a distance. At night the entire complex lights up like a shiny toy, expressing the underlying fun nature inherent to the facility.

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