The PS #1 Elementary School Aftercare in Santa Monica, California, stands as proof that educational buildings can display a modern and creative facade and contemporary interiors that help enhance the students’ creativity. Designed by john Friedman and Alice Kimm of JFAK Architects, the elementary school strives to connect all its elements in a unifying space. Placed between the school’s existing buildings and its sport facilities, the rather small building features an aftercare room on the first floor, where indoor activities – homework, crafts, cooking – were easily connected with the outdoor sport facilities – the basketball court, soccer field, and play yard.
A multitude of windows and skylights offer natural light and natural ventilation helps students concentrate. Spread over 3,500 square feet, the educational spaces and facilities consist of a new aftercare facility, kitchen, and classroom for Pluralistic School #1. The second floor is occupied by a new classroom with mezzanine that captures the ocean breeze and offers a quiet west-oriented location away from the agitation of the sport courts. The exterior is clad in plaster and shiplapped cement board painted in a youthful combination of colors, creating an appealing structure.