John Adams Middle School
received the Grand Prize Award in the Spring 2016 edition of Learning by Design Magazine.
The renovation and modernization of the campus in Santa Monica, California, encompasses an infill and strategic improvement program for a 1,000-student campus that leverages site improvements and a small amount of new building to transform a classic, mid-century campus in need of revitalization and upgrades.
While the work is defined by the buildings, the associated landscape efforts are equally important. The design is driven by a sustainability agenda, student safety, and campus identity. In classrooms, a solar chimney catalyzes enhance natural ventilation entering through underground earth tubes which cool the air. The solar chimneys are glass towers that punctuate the exterior elevations and bring indirect daylight into the classroom. At the recently added artificial turf fields, new native, drought-tolerant landscaping constitutes a “green fringe” to the fields that serves as a test/demonstration of potential new planting techniques in the school district. Campus administrative elements are reconfigured and repurposed to bring administrative spaces to the campus perimeter, providing a secure, supervised entry. And a bold graphics program leverages the school’s namesake to craft a wayfinding system that is both intuitive and honorific.