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High Tech High Mesa

San Diego, CA

The newest campus for High Tech Learning, High Tech High Mesa sits on a site bordered by Genesee Avenue and Mt. Acadia Boulevard in Clairemont Mesa.  Formerly occupied by Horizon Christian Academy, the existing campus provided a regulation football field,  six buildings with existing classroom space, a gymnasium and an auditorium. The new campus now includes an elementary, middle and high school. The elementary and middle schools utilize existing classroom wings while the high school is a mix of renovated space and new construction. The high school is anchored by a high-volume lobby/ commons area which speaks to the tenets of High Tech’s design philosophy - height, light and structure. 

The design emphasizes the volume with an exposed, stacked construction of vertical steel columns carrying horizontal laminated wood beams, which in turn support two sets of sloped laminated wood beams.  The structure is naturally lit by north-facing clerestory windows defined by the offset between the sloped beams.  At the east and west ends of the space, a grid of vertical and horizontal steel members are infilled by an impressive assembly of glazing and two vertical sectional doors which roll up to allow the program to extend seamlessly from inside to out. The classroom wings that radiate from this commons area, continue its aesthetic with exposed wood roof structure.

Located at a gentle bend in the floor plan separating the Junior and Senior classes, a pair of exploratory spaces are wrapped in a smaller version of the lobby/ commons area.  This space - affectionally known as ‘Little Brother’ - is composed of laminated wood beams and high-volume space bathed in natural light.  The remaining building is occupied by administrative areas, pairs of classrooms connected by operable partitions and studio spaces defined by large folding door systems, enabling the open floor plan to extend outside.

Tenant Improvement: 97,214 SF, New Construction: 30,557 SF

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