Albert Einstein AcademySan Diego, CA
Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School serves up to 600 students in a radically transformed former convalescent hospital. The 38,000-square-foot, four-story building contains 20 daylight-filled classroom spaces, along with a variety of support spaces including specialty labs, offices, and informal gathering areas. An open stair, inserted between between the street-side lobby and the multi-purpose space below, creates new connections. A bright super-graphic on the wall adjacent to the stair displays the principles of International Baccalaureate education, reinforcing the school's educational philosophy.
At the top level of the building, the open plan multi-functional media center combines areas for individual study and collaboration as well as gathering and socializing. A “genius bar,” complete with Apple computers, is a popular place for students to perch. The exterior perforated metal screens add a new modern face to the building, while also providing window shading and a safe, enclosed outdoor learning space off several classrooms. The building’s entrance is marked by an awning, wide stairs, and concrete seat walls, providing a welcoming street presence for the Academy.