The Science and Humanities Classroom Building at Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, Calif., has been completed. Construction on the first phase of this five-acre master plan began in August 2006. Once completed, the project will be the first non-sectarian independent school for seventh through 12th grade in the San Fernando Valley in 50 years. In addition to the classroom building, the master plan calls for an athletics complex, performing-arts center, administration building and dining commons.
The three-story, 53,000-square-foot classroom building contains a variety of academic spaces, including 23 classrooms — each designed to serve 20 students; a student-life center; a 20,000-volume library space; fine-arts studios; a dance studio; photo lab with darkroom; and an 11,000-square-foot science wing with a lecture hall and six college-level working labs. The dramatic, curving facade of the building follows the line of the street, forming a protective perimeter for the interior plaza, and shielding the campus from traffic noise.
The building integrates environmentally sensitive components and building features. South-facing elevations are shaded with a continuous perforated aluminum sunscreen, and the majority of classrooms are accessed via exterior corridors. All windows feature 1-inch-thick, insulating, dual-pane glass and have operable panels. Fluorescent lighting is governed by motion sensors that turn lights off when rooms are not in use.
The architect is Parallax Associates, Inc. (Culver City, Calif.)
Start: August 2006
Completion: September 2008
Project area: 53,000 sq. ft.
Cost: $23.5 million