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Emeryville, CA
Completion: 2015

 

Challenge

To transform a community so that the school becomes the center of the community and the community becomes the center of the school.

Approach

Community must be at the heart of a design process if the community is to value any resulting facility. The ‘build it and they will come’ approach simply does not work and often results in underutilized, costly space. So we assembled a multidisciplinary team committed to an authentic engagement process which honors the community and its value system to right-size and optimize the programmatic elements to extend the utilization of every space in the facility to create the greatest value for the community’s investment.

Solution

The design team envisions an interconnected network of active and passive outdoor “rooms” that will enhance the function of adjacent program areas. The new Center is envisioned to transform to different functional modalities depending on time of day and school & community services schedules. Each space, to the greatest extent possible, is envisioned as multi-functional, serving both school and community functions depending on scheduled time of use. Avoiding single purpose spaces allows building more for less and greatly increases overall utilization and community value. Intended Key outcomes: A unique and special place where schools, community services, arts and recreation programs are integrated to serve the entire Emeryville Community. A place that will transform the quality of life for all citizens of Emeryville by offering educational, recreational, cultural and social opportunities, and a variety of services and programs to support lifelong learning and healthy lifestyles. Public access to facilities and services for art, music and dance, job training, after school activities, fitness, technology, and health and social services. A continuum of services for everyone from infants to senior citizens, including health and family support programs, academic and career counseling, pre-kindergarten programs and parent resources.