EAST OAKLAND SCHOOL
OF THE ARTS, Oakland, CA
Modernization for the Arts
This project deconstructed an under-used industrial shop building at the edge of the campus to become the new home for an Arts School. The renovation celebrates the quality of the art - the spirit of anticipation, the unfinished, and an evolving creative and productive energy. The design vocabulary emphasizes the building as backdrop, students and their work as foreground. The resulting school is more fragments of walls than rooms; more patches of sunlight than institutionalized enclosures; more ambiguities of interiority than the explicitness of inside and out.
Two layers of design elements - a wood horizon and a low wall - respond to the nearby creek running along the school edge. Both elements weave and wend their way along the building edge. The low wall transforms itself to be everything from a bench, to a display ledge, to an indoor planter, and the wood horizon provides a unique opportunity to display images.