Milken Community Schools – Advanced STEAM Institutes

  • area / size 9,000 sqft
  • Completed 2016
  • Lehrer Architects LA designed a space to fit the mission of Milken Community Schools’ Advanced STEAM Institutes in Los Angeles, California.

    The path of the Milken student is a continuous journey that focuses on exploration, experience, and the pursuit of excellence. Their hard work earns them the Yiddish honorific Macher, literally “a maker” – these new institutes foster Makers.

    The mission of Milken Community Schools is to send its students on a journey of thinking and making. These new STEAM and design institutes rehaul a maze of dank classrooms into a bright, cohesive, hyperfunctional launching pad for hands-on creativity. Operating on the principle that there are no throwaway spaces, the architecture has imbued every surface and volume with multiple uses.

    From outside in, perforated metal sun screens provide a monumental, functional presence for the campus, visible from the freeway. Bi-fold doors provide the ultimate flexibility, all while playing reflections off of each other. The flexible open floor-plan has operable glass walls that connect studio spaces and exterior terraces and plazas, providing additional breakout and collaboration areas suited to the inspiring California climate.

    A wide array of display surfaces transform seamlessly into shelved storage and working spaces, be they vertical pin-up spaces or horizontal writing, model-making, or robotics-tinkering surfaces. From the terraces to the “back” patios, each nook & cranny of campus is repurposed for learning & making.

    The space grows and pulses with the activity that the students & faculty generate in it every day. The great flexibility of the space allows for endless configurations and the ability for new equipment to replace old, as technology improves and adjusts to the times.  With natural light pouring through diffused glass skylights and expansive views to Sepulveda Canyon, this facility will nurture not only the minds of students but the spirit as well.

    ArchitectLehrer Architects LA
    Design Team: Nerin Kadribegovic, Michael B. Lehrer, Erik Alden, Hamish Dickson, Mustafa Kustur, Julia Kim
    Contractor: Del Amo Construction, Inc.
    Photography: Michael B. Lehrer