Some lucky children in Bel Air may soon get to attend a brand new school through the Presbyterian Church. Envisioned as a tiny village composed of classroom buildings and surrounded by courtyards and play yards, the Bel Air Presbyterian PreSchool is expected to be an ambitious center for early learners. Beverly Hills-based Poon Design has created the vision for the new preschool, which is still campaigning for money to build the project. The project is aiming for LEED certification and includes plenty of safe, natural and environmentally friendly materials along with energy efficient design.
The 23,000 sq facility is to be located high up in the Santa Monica Mountains to take advantage of the views as well as the breeze. Bel Air Presbyterian has an ambitious goal of building one of the nation’s best facilities for early learning. The plan includes rich and diverse program with 11 classrooms and 5 learning yards. There will also be a separate pavilion for a library, a music room and an art room. There will also be a central courtyard, a multipurpose building and an admin building. This small eco village setup with outdoor circulation works will in the warm climate of Southern California, eliminating the need for enclosed and conditioned spaces.
Poon Design and Bel Air Presbyterian are targeting LEED Certification for their project. The small scale village will be built using cedar and cement plaster covered building. Covered walkways and large roof overhangs will provide shade to keep the interior cool and lots of natural daylighting will create a pleasant atmosphere in which to learn. Natural materials like bamboo floors and other materials will help keep the learning environment healthy for the children. Outside, the courtyards and play yards will be landscaped with native plants and trees, which includes plants specifically geared towards hummingbirds and butterflies. The school is currently raising funds to build the new multi-million dollar campus.