Center for Early Education
MATT is partway through a five-phase project for the Center for Early Education, whose mission is to foster a vibrant campus and community for elementary school students. Phases 0, 1 and 2 saw the demolition of existing structures, followed by concurrent construction of the utility yard, La Cienega Building and Alfred House. Phase 3 involves the construction of the Clinton Building, a four-story structure with garage parking adjacent to the La Cienega Building and Building C. It holds a first-floor outdoor play yard, classrooms, office space and a rooftop play yard. The final phase will entail replacing an existing structure with a new artificial turf playing field.
Alfred House comprises early childhood classrooms and daycare for kindergarteners. The La Cienega building houses classroom and offices spaces, a rooftop play yard and a new gymnasium as well as the work of artist Friedrich Kunath.
Because of CEE’s location on the busy corner of La Cienega and Melrose, and the multi-purpose nature of the buildings, sound attenuating insulation, and other sound-dampening materials will be installed to manage acoustics.
One of the prominent architectural features, a massive tile lattice, extends four floors and wraps around a sprawling structural steel apparatus designed to resemble a tree. Green roofs and walls serve as both an attractive design element and a factor in the complex’s sustainability. Built to West Hollywood Green Building Standards, the campus will not only have green roofs and a green wall, but also a system to reclaim the natural artesian ground water for irrigation.
The school year has largely dictated scheduling and is the primary reason for phasing the project. As soon as the new building is complete, students move into it, and the next building site must be ready for work. The hard deadline of each semester’s start date and daily check-ins from on-site superintendents keep the schedule on track.
Safety and coordination remain key priorities, and MATT’s team makes a daily effort to inform CEE personnel about ongoing jobsite activities and updates. In order to maximize student safety, for example, the team plans critical construction activities like steel erection during summer break.
Photo Credit: Benny Chan