The new Edna Karr High School, designed in a collaborative joint venture with VMDO Architects, sits in the heart of Algiers’ Aurora neighborhood. The school’s layout is divided into the west and east wings that wrap a central courtyard, and will accommodate a student population of 1,200.
The main academic west wing houses the core academic elements of the program (classrooms, science labs, media center, etc.), as well as the administrative offices and dining commons. The east wing is composed of performing arts and physical education, including a competition and practice gymnasium as well as a stage.
A Media Library is located at the center of the school on the second floor, with a wall of north-facing windows looking over the center courtyard to maximize natural daylighting. The Library is vertically connected to the 1st floor Reading Room / Lounge that is open to the students for reading, doing homework or getting organized between classes, at the lunch break, or before school.
The design integrates additional informal learning spaces, including break-out spaces outside of the classrooms and front/back porch spaces that are semi-private but observable from the adjoining classroom and teacher resource areas. These spaces facilitate connections to social learning through flexible and teacher directed usage. They extend classrooms by empowering educators and students alike to shape their learning environments to suit the need of individuals and groups.