Two rows of fragmented, interlocking forms are set tightly on either side of a long central “canyon,” or street, which cuts through the face of the hillside as might a geologic fault line. The street provides the primary opportunity for students to interact haphazardly or by plan with one another, with teachers and with administrators as they move about the campus. Seeking to create a counterpoint to Diamond Ranch’s suburban context, the sense of an urban experience is intensified via the compression of the street. A monumental stairway which functions doubly as an outdoor amphitheater is embedded in the hillside, leading from the school’s main academic areas to the roof terrace and football field above.
The site plan defines three distinct “schools within a school” -- clusters of semi-independent units that each integrate a full curriculum segregated by grade-level to foster team teaching in a more intimate educational setting. Landscaped outdoor teaching areas act as courtyard buffers between buildings and punctuate the classroom units with views of mountains and sky. The intention of the whole is to challenge the message sent by a society that routinely communicates its disregard for the young by educating them in cheap institutional boxes surrounded by impenetrable chain link fencing.