MASTER PLAN AND SCHOOL
CLIENT: Villa Esperanza
Architect of Record:
Gonzalez Goodale Architects
Villa Esperanza serves students of all ages with learning disabilities that are generally too acute for public school systems to manage within their special education programs.
With extraordinarily high teacher to student ratios, the complex - which currently includes school, administration, and housing for older students - is more like an intimate home environment than an institution. Indeed, the current school operates out of a complex of houses and buildings that once served as local retail stores.
The aim of this project is to maintain the intimacy of the current setting, while freeing outdoor play and teaching space. This is achieved in part by locating the balance of administrative functions atop a structured parking building, with its multipurpose space giving way to a rooftop courtyard.
Stationed in a neighborhood with an eclectic and unremarkable context, the school emulates the oft-time innocence and exuberance of its student body. Where students are dropped off and picked up along Villa, a daily major social event engaging the whole school, recessed vitrines will display student projects.
The first phase of the school is currently under construction.