The U.S. architects Brooks + Scarpa have just released the first pictures of the recently completed Green Dot Animo Leadership High School, in Inglewood, near Los Angeles. This new state-funded school for 500 students, is located adjacent to the airport and the very busy road 105 Century freeway. The Green Dot Ánimo Schools are state-funded schools, in and around California, which aim to prepare ethnically and economically diverse students for college, leadership and life. In order to achieve this they use innovative instruction, a rigorous curriculum, and the use of technology. The schools create a student-centred environment that unifies the efforts of family, community, and school to foster life-long learning, cross-cultural competency, social responsibility, and academic excellence.
The design was inspired by Curtis and Davis Architects of New Orleans who, in the early 1950s, designed and built many schools in Louisiana. Their projects were suited to the local climate without using air conditioning, creating bright and poetic spaces for the kids to learn. Similarly, this project was designed to enhance sustainable energy strategies, giving plenty of natural light and ventilation and reducing carbon emissions.
The south façade is covered with 650 solar panels that screen the building and cover 75% of the energy needs of the school.
Taking full advantage of the temperate climate of the region, the designers avoided creating the traditional “big box”. They instead opted for a university campus-like layout, which offers significant environmental benefits, improving the supply of natural light and ventilation both inside and outside, providing significant cost savings thanks to the limited use of artificial lighting and air conditioning for closed spaces of small dimensions.