Hillside Elementary School
New Library and Classroom Buildings

San Lorenzo Unified School District, San Leandro, CA

A new 2,000 sf circular library is a welcoming nest in the middle of a large open plaza, enlivening a lonely space with new planting, benches and whimsical text stenciled on the site. The cedar wood wrapping shades the building and warms the large asphalt play area. The interior of the library uses birch plywood wall panels, and exposed glulam beams to create a tempting haven. New study areas, benches tucked within book stacks and a storytelling corner complete the space. Computer stations are provided throughout along with a generous reception area. Adjacent, the new 3,400 sf classroom building also faces the play yard and utilizes a large, cedar finished overhang and inverted bay windows to create moments of intimacy, scale, light and shadow overlooking the playground expanse.

Collaborating with the students and faculty to create a series of words and phrases that were inspiring to the students, the selected text was then painted onto the existing asphalt with conventional playground striping paint and commercial stencils.

More Projects