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How do you make children feel at home even when they’re at school? Simple. You make the school feel like home. Los Altos, CA
2009

Challenges

Difficult site, sensitive neighborhood, heritage trees and, oh yes, a school that needed to maintain operations during construction.

Approach

Working closely with teachers, parents and neighbors, MKThink designed a new K-2 campus capable of supporting enhanced arts and science enrichment programs. An emphasis was placed on creating a warm, inviting first-school experience for young children that felt as comfortable to a child as learning at home. By engaging in numerous neighborhood meetings throughout the project design, MKThink was able to incorporate the needs and concerns of multiple groups into a design pleasing to both the users and the community.

Solution

MKThink created a safe and healthy place for learning that is comfortable for young students and teachers alike. And because it looks like home it also fits well into a sensitive residential neighborhood. The new design fits naturally into its neighborhood and features a central courtyard which acts as an outdoor classroom while serving to provide child safety and reducing noise to adjacent residential neighbors. The facility includes a small performance theater and doubles the previous square footage devoted to classroom space. Classrooms take full advantage of natural light and offer a productive and flexible learning environment.