LAUSD Wright Middle School Maker's Space
Scope: Tenant Improvement
Size: 3,800 SF
Completion: In Progress
Project Manager: Rahel Zewdu, LEED AP
LAUSD Wright Middle School is a S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) magnet school where Berliner Architects has taken on the challenge of renovating two of their existing spaces to meet the current and future needs of this interdisciplinary school. These two new classrooms include an expanded Robotics Classroom and a new Flexible Engineering Classroom.
An important part of the Wright Middle School visioning process for the new facilities included a half-day design charrette with the teachers and students in the actual space to be renovated. After a group discussion, the students engaged in space planning exercises on architectural plans to better understand their future space and get insight into the field of architecture.
During the visioning, students emphasized a desire for multiple-zones within the classroom to be able to have traditional, directed learning alongside teacher-approved downtime. In response, the design team planned for soft, informal seating in addition to adjustable height tables on lockable casters.
Listening to the students describe the types of projects they work on, we hoped to highlight that enthusiasm through display of robots-in-progress. Instead of hiding away their designs, the design team chose to create shelving in display cases so that students could see what others are working on, both in active discussion during class time, and passively through the room’s decoration.
Student input was solicited from the start of the design process. Several ideas proposed or hinted at by students were considered in the design, from small ideas like adjustable-height tables to more ambitious concepts like multi-level spaces. The intent behind these visioning workshops allowed the resulting Maker Space to cater more specifically to the school’s interests, in turn making it feel more personal to their community.