Location:  Los Angeles, California

Client: Los Angeles Unified School District

The largest new high school for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex is located on approximately 18 acres just outside of downtown Los Angeles in the Crown Hill District. The project addresses critical overcrowding at Belmont and Marshall by providing 71 classrooms and shared athletic facilities for the benefit of the academic community. Facilities that can be shared with the community, such as the auditorium and sports facilities are sited intentionally to avoid disrupting classes. Reflecting the density and scale of its urban location, the high school accommodates approximately 1,700 students in 221,100 square feet and is comprised of an auditorium/administration building, two classroom wings, library/multimedia labs, food services/cafeteria, a parking facility, and a sports complex includes two gymnasiums, sports fields and an olympic size pool.

The site’s most significant impact is its topographical complexity: The elevational difference between the street and the Northern portion of the site varies between 30 feet. The Academic Complex takes advantage of these constraints and proposes a series of stepped public spaces leading to a main landscaped inner courtyard between the Classroom Block cloisters.