Brentwood School Breaks Ground on New Middle School Building

Dr. Mike Riera, Head of School, and Norman Pfeiffer, FAIA
June 11, 2017
In a flurry of confetti, Dr. Mike Riera, Head of School, marked the official groundbreaking of Brentwood School’s new Middle School building. Seated behind the wheel of an excavator, cheered on by BWS families and neighbors, Dr. Riera kicked off the two-year construction process by knocking down an on-site wall featuring the Brentwood name. The non-traditional ceremony included the voices of Brentwood students singing, food trucks, ice cream stands and children’s activities, with all attendees having the opportunity to sign large metal bolts to be incorporated into the building. The new facility, located on BWS’s East Campus, represents the first phase of a 30-year Education and Master Plan for the School. The building includes a theater/lecture hall, music and dance rehearsal spaces, visual arts spaces, a library, classrooms, faculty offices and a student dining commons that opens up to a new pedestrian activity spine. Parking is located on-site, subtly tucked underneath the building, providing a platform for the new soccer field. Our design for the building respects the architecture of the existing campus, yet is highly contemporary and sustainable. Its naturally ventilated circulation area, known as the “spark,” multiple terraces and large doors opening to the outside, take advantage of the mild southern California climate, blurring the distinction between indoors and out. Landscape, pedestrian walk ways and overlooks augment the campus environment, reinforcing the special look and feel of the Brentwood School. Completion is scheduled for 2019. Brentwood School, established in 1972, is one of the preeminent independent K-12 schools in Los Angeles.