The future design of the Cajon High School Expansion was featured in the Spring 2022 Learning by Design Magazine.
The social life of education sets a progressive agenda in this infill/replacement at Cajon High School. This new project conditions a long-term transition to a new campus vision on a campus with almost all existing classrooms housed in internally circulated, windowless structures.
Given a project site constrained by existing buildings, a central quad, and the campus edge, the project utilizes a strategy of blurring edges and disintegrating thresholds to create new DNA for the school. Where interior and exterior were undeniably separate existences, the totalizing new roof unifies the campus through redefining the core.
The site between two two existingbuildings is excavated to the street level, creating a Canyon between them. This arena, of sorts, creates something collective, social, and diverse. Oval pods create space for classrooms and the library in a shape where power structures in education are dismantled. These pods are situated to create variation in the scale of a space under a large, open-air roof structure. The 52,000 sf of additional, non-programmed space amplifies the school’s identity through establishing a recognizable center.
“Cowboy Canyon” houses education space, breakout space, science fairs, group presentations, mobile medical clinics, yoga, robotics competitions, etc. In the Canyon, school is social.