Santa Monica High School/HED Discovery Building

Santa Monica High School/HED Discovery Building

Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Exterior photography, stairs, windows, handrailSanta Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Exterior PhotographySanta Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior photography, kitchen, table, windows, chair, beamSanta Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior Photography, Stairs+ 27


  • Area Area of ​​this architecture project Area :
    260,000 ft²

  • Year Year of realization of this architectural project

    Year:


    2021


  • Photographs

  • Manufacturers Marks with products used in this architecture project

    Manufacturers: CONXTECH, Pfeifer Structures , Pfeifer Structures

Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Exterior Photography, Facade
© Inessa Binenbaum

Text description provided by the architects. The Santa Monica High School Discovery Building is the first example of an educational project designed according to Open Building principles in the United States. Locally known as “Samohi”, the project is part of a multi-phase redevelopment and replacement plan for the historic campus.

Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior Photography, Facade, Beam
© Inessa Binenbaum
Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior photography, stairs, handrail, beam
© Inessa Binenbaum

Based on the principle that the long-term use and adaptability of buildings and places is inherently more sustainable, Open Building seeks to improve longevity and resilience through a set of core principles that impact design, as well as how buildings are delivered and managed over time. The building’s format, structure and services all strive to adapt the final layout in a way that is relevant to the type of program, such as housing versus office: form approximate function.

Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior photography, living room, chair
© Inessa Binenbaum
Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior Photography, Windows
© Inessa Binenbaum

Samohi is transitioning in terms of pedagogy, moving from classroom-only accommodation to an array of defined classrooms and labs complemented by multi-functional ‘common’ spaces. This evolutionary condition revealed it as ideal for the Open Building approach. To fully understand the progressive program goals of the school and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the team’s design process was based on a series of workshops with teaching and administrative staff. These meetings reinforced a hybrid approach to the use of open commons versus discrete spaces.

Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Exterior Photography
© Inessa Binenbaum

Unlike common single and double hallway layouts in California, the five-level Discovery Building has deep floor plates that allow for the grouping of spaces and activities in a greater variety of sizes and formats, supporting different ways of learning. Classrooms connect with sliding glass doors to a continuous network of open common and circulation spaces with a variety of configurations for individual and team projects led by the students themselves. In addition to typical classrooms and labs, the program has a range of special features, such as a computer center, STEM learning, low-profile suites for students with special needs, and a large distribution center for education. storage and distribution of teaching materials.

Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior photography, kitchen, table, windows, chair, beam
© Inessa Binenbaum
Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Interior Photography, Kitchen
© Inessa Binenbaum

A critical factor is that project resources are directed in a meaningful way to advance a high quality indoor environment and high quality of service. The Discovery Building adapts to continuous change with a large-format structural grid and interior layout and services that are distinct from the structure. The fabric of the building itself supports future development with:

Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Exterior photography, stairs, windows, handrail
© Inessa Binenbaum
Santa Monica High School/HED Discovery Building - Image 27 of 27
Axonometric
  • A pre-engineered moment frame steel structural system allows for a variety of floor plans without shear walls.
  • Electrical and communication systems combine with air distribution under an accessible raised floor, freeing ceilings from rigid service requirements.
  • The interior walls are potentially demountable and lend themselves to reconfiguration.
  • The windows are widely distributed with a central courtyard bringing natural light inside the large block
  • Underfloor air distribution aids adaptability
Santa Monica High School Discovery Building / HED - Exterior Photography
© Inessa Binenbaum

The exterior design uses modest materials to establish a strong civic character for one of the city’s most important public buildings. Inspired by Samohi’s original modern architecture, its more contemporary interpretation is expressed in simple curves and planes of white cement plaster with deep windows. Large functional glass storefronts on the ground floor open the building to its most important public links to the surrounding open space.