High Tech Middle
Personalization, Common Intellectual Mission, Adult-World Connections, Teacher as Designer
6-8 charter public middle school serving 340 students. 1949 steel framed warehouse building, single story, 37,000 SF, renovated in 2003.
Commons Areas, Grade Level Teaching Neighborhoods, cross-discipline Teachers Offices, teamed Classrooms with movable walls, Learning Studios, Specialty Labs, Fabrication Labs, and varied Display and Exhibition venues.
San Diego, California
Part of a network of 16 charter schools that span the K-12 spectrum, High Tech Middle is the second in a series of innovative project-based schools with a focus on the design and development of simple and flexible school facilities.
Opening in September 2003, High Tech Middle (HTM) is the first middle school partner of the Jacobs High Tech High, and houses 340 students in grades 6-8. Designed as a collaborative effort between the HTH design team (under the direction of New Vista’s David Stephen) and Carrier Johnson Architects, the building utilizes a completely renovated structure located adjacent to High Tech High on the grounds of the former Naval Training Center in Point Loma (San Diego), CA. Formerly an air-conditioning training facility, the original building has high ceilings and a saw-toothed skylight system that floods the building with natural light. These features were capitalized upon in the creation of an interior streetscape or "gallery" which serves as the main circulation spine and spatial organizer for the school.
With its plentiful daylight, colorful walls, professionally displayed artwork, and open views into seminar rooms and offices, the gallery is a lively and friendly space. An abundance of glass throughout the school serves to create a high level of transparency and accountability, thus enabling students to work independently, and/or roam freely throughout the building while being informally observed by many sets of adult eyes. The HTM "commons" room is located adjacent to the school's main entry, and can accommodate group meetings of up to 350 students.