John C Dore Elementary School finds itself in a very dynamic stage of its existence; the amount of its student population has exponentially grown in the last five years. As a result of such condition, the current space provided by the existing building doesn’t fulfill the school’s necessities today, neither it will it in the close future. Given the situation, JGMA’s role is to reimagine the current building and the site as a single cohesive master plan that addresses the school’s necessities while creating a design that fits within its context and respects the scale of its neighborhood and at the same time enhancing the existing building with cutting edge architectural composition.
The masterplan modifications consist of relocating the current parking lot allowing for a three story addition on the northern portion of the site, pushing the parking towards the alleyway away from the main street presence. JGMA proposes to increase the size of the playground area on the southernmost portion of the site by demolishing the southern wing of the single story building, not only allowing for extra green space but also creating breathing space between the neighboring houses and the school building limits. Such modifications are complemented with a thorough organization of program elements that rearrange the current conditions, including a new entry lobby, administrative offices, new classrooms, a gymnasium, auditorium for the school’s usage during regular school hours, and community events outside regular school hours.
The modifications to the existing building and the additional floor space are all vailed with a single surface treatment of semi-translucent wooden structure echoing the organic movement of the neighborhood created by the repetition of the single family homes in close proximity. Such language is carried throughout the eastern and northern façade, becoming part of the context on both ends of the design.