February 6th, 2014
The AIA San Joaquin chapter recently recognized Delano USD’s Pioneer School with an Award of Merit in Education Design. Built on a hardship budget, the academic villages at Pioneer School lead students through their educational progression from Pre-K–8 to the neighboring high school. Grade levels are strategically distributed and given their own identity, and a strong emphasis was placed on creating outdoor learning environments that allow learning to happen everywhere.
January 20th, 2014
HMC and the Fresno County Office of Education were recently honored with a CalSPRA Excellence in Communication Award for the article, “Build Understanding, Build Successful Projects,” which was published in HMC’s School News. CalSPRA (California School Public Relations Association) is the professional organization of communications professionals from school districts and county offices throughout California. The organization strives to advance education through responsible communication that creates better public understanding and support of public education.
HMC partnered with the Fresno County Office of Education on the article “Build Understanding, Build Successful Projects” to inform California school districts and counties, along with A/E/C partners, about the collaborative dialogue that is going on at the Central Valley Successful Projects Workshops. The goal of the workshops is to educate the K-12 sector on the construction process, while also educating the A/E/C industry on the issues that K-12 clients face. Defining each party’s perspective and having empathy for their roles and specific challenges allows the entire project team to work toward win-win solutions, rather than disputing decisions throughout the course of a project. The article outlines the goals and agenda of the four-part workshop series, addresses the future vision of the workshop organizers, and concludes with an inside look of lessons from a variety of attendees. The CalSPRA award jurors commented that article was clear, engaging writing for a complicated subject, and that the use of quotes as lessons learned was insightful.
January 17th, 2014
USGBC Los Angeles recently hosted their 9th Annual Green Gala and Los Angeles USD’s Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies was recognized with a Sustainability in Innovation Award. The award acknowledges built projects in Los Angeles County that demonstrate innovation in one or more categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design.
January 9th, 2014
According to Architectural Record’s article, “Modular Classroom Makeover,” new designs for portable school buildings make improvements that are more than cosmetic. HMC’s collaboration with Project Frog on the South San Francisco USD project is sited as one of the examples that are changing the future of portable classrooms.
“The mention of “portable” classrooms—or any similar term—puts fear into the hearts of parents with school-age children. Regardless of whether you call them portable, modular, or temporary classrooms, they conjure up unwelcome images of shoebox-like structures with few windows, stuffy air, and noisy and ineffective mechanical systems. But now several design firms, nonprofit organizations, and prefab building companies are developing improved portable classrooms that address these problems and allow schools to expand quickly and sustainably…”
December 20th, 2013
Recently, HMC joined Milpitas Unified School District at the Milpitas High School’s Aquatics Complex groundbreaking ceremony. The district is upgrading their pool facility to accommodate the school’s current and future PE classes, competitive swimming and diving programs.
Designed to complement the existing athletic complex and campus, the project features a 30-meter pool, a lap/warming pool and a pool facilities building. The main competition pool features twelve swimming lanes, a diving board platform and pool depth of up to 13 feet. The pool deck layout between the main pool and the warm-up pool is designed to provide flexible deck space for bleachers and removable site furniture, which can be used for spectators’ seating and a team’s gathering area. The pool facilities building includes space for boys’ and girls’ lockers, restrooms, showers and storage for pool equipment.
Surrounded by playing fields, the aquatics complex is designed to be a lantern and beacon within the larger athletic complex. The main features of the building design are translucent panels that accomplish the dual purpose of providing diffused natural daylight inside the locker rooms while protecting students’ visual privacy, and acting as a lively beacon that illuminates during evening swim meets, local community gatherings and events.
Honed concrete block and translucent wall panels provide a simple cost-effective solution that integrates with the other existing buildings on campus by complementing a neutral color palette. The design also responds to the school’s requests for durable, corrosion resistant and easily maintainable materials. In addition, the sustainable features of the building include natural day lighting, regional material selection, and provisions for solar water heating.
In a collaborative effort with the high school principal and staff, HMC engaged students by creating design guidelines for a swimming and diving logo competition. The selected logo design will be featured on the front of the building and is currently shown on the building elevation.
December 5th, 2013
By Eera Babtiwale, Environmental Analyst
Middle College High School (MCHS), located on the campus of LA Southwest College, demonstrates how sustainability is the way forward, serving as an example of how sustainable design is synonymous with good building design. The project is the result of a unique collaboration between the Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles Community College District, Southwest College and the design-build team of HMC Architects-Bernards Brothers. From design conception to construction, all entities recognized the critical synergy between sustainable design and successful learning environments. As a result of this shared philosophy, the 61,105-GSF high school achieved LEED Gold certification.
September 19th, 2013
Scheduled to open in 2016, Irvine Unified School District engaged HMC Architects to design its new comprehensive high school (High School No. 5) and lead the collaborative design process. The high school is a prime example of a district responding to its growing community needs, engaging community stakeholders throughout the design process and going through an extensive educational specifications review process. The result is a tailored educational environment that is being built with the support of end-users and the community to specifically meet the unique needs of the school’s students, faculty and staff.
- The article addresses:
- — The growing needs of a master planned community
- — Stakeholder engagement and community outreach
- — Educational specifications verification process
- — Campus organization and architecture
September 17th, 2013
Originally targeting LEED Silver certification, HMC recently received news that Los Angeles USD’s Sonia M. Sotomayor Learning Academies was awarded LEED Gold certification—this is HMC’s first high school campus (not just a single building) to earn LEED certification. During the LEED review process, the team submitted an appeal for three more credits and was awarded them, pushing the project into LEED Gold. LAUSD advocated for taking the project from silver to gold, and HMC was able to deliver!
September 17th, 2013
The Sobrato Family Learning Commons at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif. has been selected to the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2013 Library Design Showcase. The project is published in the September/October issue of American Libraries, the flagship magazine of the ALA.
The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events and advocacy resources for members, librarians and library users. Its magazine, American Libraries, is sent to more than 65,000 individuals and organizations worldwide. The Library Design Showcase is the publication’s annual feature celebrating the best new and newly renovated or expanded libraries of all types. They publish libraries that are shining examples of innovative architecture and that address the service needs of patrons in unique, interesting and effective ways. We are delighted that the Sobrato Family Learning Commons at Saint Francis High School is among those honored.
The Sobrato Family Learning Commons is a vibrant hub of student activities. It replaces the existing library and includes the renovation of an adjacent classroom building. On the ground floor, a student center promotes school engagement with multiple student support departments, while on the second floor students benefit from a technology-rich, flexible library. The library has a thoughtful blend of access with appropriate levels of privacy needed for student research, individual study and group academic development. To further increase the flexibility, the building structure was designed with moment frame connections to avoid the use of brace frames interrupting the interior spaces.
September 12th, 2013
Fast Company recently reported on HMC’s teaming with Project Frog to design “Impact,” a new classroom building platform that’s cheap, durable and simple—but also provides a better learning environment than portable classrooms. Read the entire article on Fast Co Exist>>