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Project File: Building up

The Center for Early Education, West Hollywood, Calif., is a well-known independent pre-K to sixth-grade elementary school that was supporting 500 students on less than one-half acre through rooftop playgrounds above the three-story elementary school building, below-grade parking under the building and ground-level play yards. This configuration could not support the school's educational mission, and new space was needed to provide for larger classrooms, a consolidated and expanded library, specialty classrooms, a multipurpose space and additional below-grade parking.

Built on the only contiguous parcel available to the school, at a prominent intersection, the new building is stacked within four stories and 39,000 square feet with the multipurpose room at grade, the library on the second floor, and two levels of classrooms and specialty classrooms stacked on top. Parking is below grade.

The western exposure is designed to limit the afternoon sun penetration while displaying a modulated, perforated facade to the street outside. The northern exposure allows light in and takes advantage of the views.

The architect is Gruen Associates (Los Angeles).

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