Helen Bernstein High School
Square Footage: 335,000
Award of Honor, Leroy F. Greene Design & Planning Awards: New Built Category, 2010
Coalition for Adequate School Housing/AIA - California Council
Honor Award, Education Category, 2009
Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada/AIA - California Council
Los Angeles Unified School District's new Helen Bernstein High School is situated on a 12.4-acre site that is a very visible gateway to Hollywood and the Sunset Strip. The school, designed for 2,625 students, serves an expanding population from the dense local residential community and relieves overcrowding at two nearby high schools.
The school was designed to maximize the valuable urban site for the school and the local community while providing an exciting and safe educational environment for students and educators. The design also takes into account the varied learning approaches the district may implement and allows opportunity for opening up various components of the building, such as the library and theater, to the community. The 6-story building stacks three floors of classrooms, arranged in a long bar, over a base of public components and a parking garage. The public components also frame a raised outdoor gathering space that is the heart of the campus. This arrangement allows two-thirds of the site to remain open for play fields, addressing both a major component of the high school program and a serious lack of open green space within the community.