Thursday, May 14, 2009

First, sorry that this longer than it should have to put together….from our team’s findings at the pescadero school site last Tuesday, I would like to propose we develop the project in the following manner.  Please chime in if you have ideas or a different take. 

I think that we’ve been undertaking some really incredible studies on this project.  At this time, though we will need to get extremely focused in order to pull off a solid submission.


let me make a proposal for moving forward:  let's have one person draw up the site plan, one person draw up floorplans of the existing buildings, one person develop an existing condition site model (3d), and two people compile the schemes that we've already talked about into simple diagrams and key elements.  Of course if we can get more people, there is definitely a good bit of work in developing graphics that talk about site conditions, solar orientation, flood plains, typology studies, etc. that would be great to have as well.  then we can sit down with this information next monday, look at what all we've got and the outcome from your meeting with the kids and figure out the design studies that will take place over the course of the week.  we should also put together a cartoon of the board we'll produce, set it up as a illustrator file and give each person a sense of the size of image they'll need to create quickly.  i think it will be cool to use a lot of these schemes and existing conditions info as part of the end presentation and we will focus on designing our proposal and what we will present during our meeting on monday.   it will give everyone a clear picture and then the following monday's meeting can be to focus on other drawings that need to be done to communicate the idea and any revisions for graphic and design clarity.

sound like a plan?


Here’s an analysis that Reiko made from the Tuesday trip:


So the good and bad of Pescadero elementary school.


The Site: 

Most of the structures at the site were portables.  There was a multipurpose room, that was sectioned off to be a first grade class.  The other part was used as cafeteria.  The structure has open insulation on the roof that gets bird infestation, and the insulation falls down on people, which is gross because it's also used as a cafeteria.  The structure's tall, and is about 30' tall?


There are two rows of portables.  The first row has the office and kindergarten.  These are the ones that are being taken away.  The second row has 1-4th grade and bathrooms.  These are the good ones that they like.  We were able to visit Katy in 4th grade.  We didn't get to visit the kindergarten.  The kindergarten has a fenced play area...  and the layout reminded me of row houses in Baltimore with the back yard fenced off. 


The playground  was mostly unuseable just until recently.  Construction job haulted suddenly and left the metal fence around prohibiting the kids to play in their play ground.  Parts of the play ground are still off limits... like the community garden, the play structure and the soccer field.


The Classroom Visit:

Kids:  Ok.  Despite the fact that the 6 kids that I was doing the group activity with...  two of the boys started to hit each other... the kids are pretty amazingly happy and well behaved...  I mean, compared to the kids in Oakland...  these kids were really reallly really wholesome.  They like each other and are pretty cooperative with each other.  There's no suspension, no confescation of drugs, and only two pocket knives were confescated last year.


Storage:  There's very little resources to teach..  And the teacher needs to conserve everything...  including paper and glue and pencils.  There's not a lot of storage inside for everything.  So the classroom looks a bit like a mess.  All the kids leave their back packs in the hall, which is really cute.  There's no theft that happens, and the large eave protects the back packs from rain. 


Connection to Outside:  The classrooms are arranged much like a bungalow.  Between each activity, such as recess and lunch time, the kids go out side to go into the bathroom, or the cafeteria.  The outside is really beautiful.  There's too much black top, and the outside can be something more pleasant.


The kids often play in the field to look for lady bugs, cows, horses.



It would be good to keep the same kind of connection to the outdoors...  Since this is what makes Pescadero soooo sooo special.  Some of the kids and the teacher talked about larger windows, and gardens between the portables.  So I wonder how we can maximize nature into the school ground...  Play structures can be found everywhere...  but to these kids..  having such a direct contact with nature as part of their development is really special. 


The classrooms them selves can become more technologically advanced.  All the kids talked about how they wanted laptops.  Why not?


It is really hard to find the entrance to the site in both the elementary and middle school, because they're all identical portables.  How can we mediate this?  Can we direct flow of traffic using signage?  If they are going to have portable like building for everything...  how can they organize the buildings in such a way to give a clear entry into the site?


In terms of rehab...  the current portables need to be raised off of the ground, and they need to be fire sprinklered to become compliant.  The portables are also cold, so better climate control.  The multipurpose space can be rehabbed...  cover the roof, more windows, and better HVAC.  I think geothermic radiant floor heating would be the best solution for a structure that's that tall and spacious.   



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