The purpose of this study model was to not only bring in light, but also to affect it. Using colored screens over the walls and below the ceiling change the light as it enters; colors are in the light as it comes into the room and interact with the other colors in the room. Direct sunlight is not permitted to enter, but it may stream in occasionally if it wants to come through the stained patterned glass. Thus the sunlight would no longer be a problem for people sitting in it; rather, they would be bathed in muted, colored light.

The issue of lighting a blackboard, without using artificial lighting, presents the problems of veiling reflections. Side lighting always tends to cause these unwanted reflections making the board hard to see for some in the room. But so often classrooms have windows at the side so students and the teacher can see outside. Since adolescents are often so involved with what is happening outside the classroom, maybe it is better to put the windows behind the students. Then the teacher is forced to lecture facing into a window: not a good solution.[more...]


In this case, a translucent screen, inspired by the shoji screen, which could be moved as needed, is used to shield the room from unwanted glare while still providing light on the left side. Behind the screen would be formed a separate space that would have much exposure to sunlight and large operable glass doors for access to the outdoors. This space could form a heat storage area, or temperature balance, if concrete floors were used.

What are the leaves? They have structural elements and support colored, translucent skins. They could be interpreted various ways, from calwal to canvas. This translucent material is used above the blackboard to avoid glare. The same light treatment is used over some of the south facing windows, and could be considered curtains or a type of blind to moderate the light.

The goal of the lighting study was to completely daylight the interior of the classroom so that electrical lighting does not have to be used except in rare cases. The use of colored material above the blackboard could be a problem, since all colors on the board will affected by it. The current elementary school classrooms are very effective at lighting the inside of the classroom, although they do allow direct sunlight into the room through large skylights.

Structurally, this school will show the framing system, its bones, instead of hiding them. In order to leave the structure exposed, an inherently fire resistant construction technique should be used, such as All concrete, heavy timber frame, or Mill construction. Considering the climate in Santa Cruz, all concrete construction may make the atmosphere cold inside, even though it is very durable. Construction time is quite significant for all-concrete construction. Mill and heavy timber framing have high resistance to fire and are very strong. This method of framing will require quite regular forms, although glulams have some definite expressive capabilities. The integration of Mechanical and Electrical systems into the framing will require particular thought. A 2– or 4–ft module is recommended for planning. (Allen)

    Glulam beams have span ranges up to 100’

    Loadings will be from approx.

      40 psf for classrooms to

      80 psf for Assembly, &

      130 psf for Shop areas.

    Lateral load resisting system:

      Options are Braced frame or Shear walls of either plywood sheathing or Masonry or concrete.