Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects (FFP) recently completed a new energy-efficient facility for Santa Monica’s Crossroads School for Arts & Science that doubles as a teaching tool for sustainable architecture. Built to meet LEED Gold standards, the $13.4 million Crossroads School Science Education and Research Facility offers a three-story creative learning environment for Middle and Upper School students. The systems installed for LEED certification—including exposed energy-efficient mechanical systems, photovoltaic panels, and a rooftop teaching garden—are integrated into the school curriculum, while the facility’s exterior and interior walls feature designs that stimulate creative thinking.
The 25,000-square-foot Science Education & Research Facility is the first new building to be constructed at the Crossroads’ main campus in nearly 20 years and serves as the primary science facility for Upper and Middle School students. FFP worked closely with the Crossroads community and students, who helped design parts of the building, such as the geological fossil lines and the engraved compass rose on the 12-sided Special Projects Pavilion that features two project classrooms and an outdoor living laboratory. A Ned Khan-designed kinetic sculpture activated by wind and gravity tops the pavilion. In addition to the pavilion that’s connected to the main building with bridges, the three-story facility comprises twelve open classrooms, faculty spaces, labs, and a rooftop teaching garden.
Glass curtain walls bring in natural light to reduce dependence on artificial lighting. Additional sustainable features include photovoltaic panels embedded into the glass curtain wall, recycled denim insulation, LEDs, a stormwater filtration system, and energy-efficient mechanical, plumbing, and lighting systems.
Images via Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects, © Jeremy Bittermann