Project File: A good start

The design of the 2.92-acre campus for Dena Primary Center, Los Angeles, includes 10 classrooms for 250 students, a library, multipurpose space, food service and administrative offices. The center features an outdoor amphitheater-style central courtyard and allows for future classroom additions.

When designing the 25,000-square-foot building, the architect divided the functional elements into individual units and arranged them around a central courtyard. The courtyard was designed as an amphitheater and serves as the nexus of the school complex — a formal and informal gathering space for the school and local community.

Elemental geometric forms with sculptural metal details were used to create a dynamic visual environment and an identity for the surrounding urban neighborhood.

Part of Los Angeles Unified School District's major building effort, the Dena Primary Center alleviates crowding at the neighborhood's elementary school and provides a lively visual and highly functional environment for 5- to 8-year-olds in kindergarten through second grade.

The architect is Rachlin Architects (Culver City, Calif.).

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