Bunche Middle School
The original 100,000 SF Bunche Middle School was built in 1977 with tight triangular classrooms, confusing corridors and minimal natural light. Cooper Carry completely redesigned the school to provide updated, inviting learning spaces, simplified way finding and infused ample natural light in a manner that enables teachers the flexibility to employ today’s 21st Century pedagogy. As the program called to increase the FTE to 975 students, the 63,652 SF addition provides proper sized core spaces such as a state-of-the-art auditorium with engineered acoustics and a generous gymnasium filled with natural light. Much needed support spaces for the gymnasium such as locker rooms, weights, and dance were added. For the auditorium, we provided an acoustically designed music suite. The Media Center, previously located in the basement, was relocated to the heart of the school and provided with abundant windows that view out to two dynamic courtyards. These courtyards, through their unique design, not only infuse natural light into the building, but provide students with attractive focal points that have become well used outdoor learning spaces. The new cafeteria features an architecturally dramatic exposed concrete waffle-slab ceiling and food court style serving lines. Our interior designers introduced vibrant color and bold design features that provide interest and purpose. Spaces such as lobbies, the media center, and other core spaces were provided with various ceiling heights and volume to give a sense of rhythm to students. Consequently, a bright and inviting entrance with a new administration suite enabled the design team to provide much needed security. The building was redesigned in concert with the site to separate bus and auto traffic. The new site design included hundreds of new trees and shrubs that create an arboretum style learning experience for the students, emphasizing the change of seasons. New softball and football fields were included with a 400 meter track.