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Elementary School for Panorama City by MVE Institutional (designed using Autodesk Revit)
April 6th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Elementary School for Panorama City Makes Big Use of Small Site; MVE Institutional’s Design Emphasizes Efficiency, Sustainability and Community.
Almost 1,000 students are enjoying naturally lit classrooms, fresh-air ventilation and outdoor teaching spaces at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Valley Region Elementary School #6 in Panorama City, designed by Irvine-based MVE Institutional (MVEI). The school houses 38 teaching stations in a state-of-the-art, 70,360-square-foot facility on an infill parcel of only 4.31 acres in this city located northwest of downtown Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley.
Elementary School for Panorama City Exterior - Photo by Bill Hall
- Architect: MVE Institutional
- Photos: Bill Hall
- Location: Panorama City, California
- Project: Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Valley Region Elementary School #6, Panorama City, CA
- General contractor: Pinner Construction
- Civil engineer: VCA Engineers
- Structural engineer: Nabih Youssef & Associates
- MEP engineer: Debibi & Associates
- Landscape designer: Site Design Studio
- Food design consultant: Commercial Kitchen Design
- Cost estimator: PMC
- Completion: April, 2011
- Software used: Revit
Lunch Shelter - Photo by Bill Hall
MVEI’s award-winning design, certified by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), sustainably addresses the urban challenges of a large student population, a compact site and a varied neighborhood context.
The new school is bordered by a park and a mix of building types, including apartments, single-family homes and a church. LAUSD mandated that Elementary School #6 blend with the established look of the community, while evoking distinction as a public building. In developing the school’s design, MVEI met with the district, community members, school personnel and Panorama City officials.
School At Dusk - Photo by Bill Hall
To account for the limited space of the site, MVEI designed an efficient “double-loaded” corridor for the main classroom building and articulated the space with multiple courtyards that also serve as flexible outdoor learning environments. The courtyards—situated to be easily supervised—border the center of the campus and the playfields, maximizing the sense of open space and creating intimate gathering nodes to encourage small-group interaction and learning opportunities.
MVEI’s master plan places the two-story classroom buildings adjacent to apartment complexes at the eastern edge of the site, away from the single-family homes to the west. This layout groups the multi-story massings together for a cohesive sense of scale and provides a natural buffer between the apartments and the playground. The administration building is set back from the street intersection, making way for a small entry plaza and lending visual continuity of public space to the park and church across the way.
The kindergarten building at the southern perimeter allows for convenient pick-up and drop-off, and direct, secure sightlines from the administration building. The food-service building is adjacent to the classrooms and playfields, while vehicular parking is exclusively underground to preserve precious open space. The multi-purpose building sits opposite administration and serves the school for various functions during the day while providing convenient access for the community during the evenings and the weekends.
Light shades of yellow, green, rust and buff are tied together by a deep blue that heralds significant markers, such as entry points, covered walkway and central elevator tower. In addition to grassy playfields, landscaping is maximized wherever feasible.
Throughout the campus, sustainable construction and operation was considered essential, and the CHPS-certified project benefits from the Savings By Design program, a state-wide energy conservation program administered by California gas and electric companies. The classrooms are distinguished by an abundance of natural light and fresh-air ventilation, providing a healthy, energy-efficient learning environment. Materials were chosen to be durable and sustainable as well as sensitive to the project budget.
For the design of this Panorama City school, MVEI received a 2009 Leroy F. Greene Planning and Design Award of Honor from California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing and The American Institute of Architects, California Council.
Elementary School for Panorama City Exterior – Photo by Bill Hall
Lunch Shelter – Photo by Bill Hall
School At Dusk – Photo by Bill Hall
Contact MVE Institutional
Tags: California, Panorama City
Categories: Revit, School