Education | Presentation School
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Presentation School

Sonoma, California

The Presentation School is a private school for approximately 180 to 200 students, providing classes for kindergarten through eighth grade. The new campus is phase one of a two-phase project and includes four detached, single-story buildings consisting of two classroom buildings, administration building, and library/learning center. The second phase, includes a ball field and multi-purpose building to be used for chapel, assemblies, plays/performances and indoor sports.

The campus, as a whole, was seen as a classroom. The goal was to provide an environment for learning on various levels - in the basic classroom setting, in small breakout room groups and through interaction between varying ages and grade levels. The campus reflects the village-like character of Sonoma with its cluster of four buildings axially organized around a central courtyard which extends the indoors out and creates spaces that serve as outdoor classrooms to foster interaction between students and to facilitate larger school-wide meetings.

Special conditions or challenges included existing residential and commercial buildings on the site requiring demolition. The site is a long and narrow rectangle posing vehicular circulation challenges. Utility challenges included the need to drill a private well for domestic water and a failed septic system requiring the petitioning of the County of Sonoma for an engineered septic system. The site fronts on State Highway 12 and a traffic study resulted in the need to acquire Caltrans right-of-way and the addition of a left-turn lane

Although the budget was extremely limited, creative and cost effective opportunities to provide natural day-lighting were found, such as utilizing large skylights in conjunction with a polycarbonate/translucent diffusers attached just below the trusses near the ceiling level. This allowed us to provide generous amounts of natural lighting while still utilizing the more economical truss roof framing system.


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