The idea of progress. Progress requires education, but is a result of actual applications, hands. Idea spaces, creation spaces. Art is often associated with the heart, with expression of feeling. The three aspects are all part of developmental. How could it be anything but development? So, it is educational and social development. What did I mean by developmental? I see the progression, growth of the individual needing adaptation of the environment. Obviously there are size issues, but these are minor. Are the needs of an eighteen-year-old different from a fourteen-year-old? Of course. A fourteen-year-old will be concerned with different things.

From the curriculum stuff: 9th grade looks at ‘how’ rather than ‘what.’ “How does it work?” Seen as ‘latent idealism’ at this age group, and attempting to foster this. In the top two grades, the concern is ‘what’.




Form finally started to develop when the idea of growing, of becoming older, was seen in context of the world and life overall. Through looking at adolescence as a birth into the adult world, the conception of the school as an egg developed. This project can be seen as an expression of birth from the earth, a reference to the nearby San Andreas fault line as well as the broken shells of a hatching bird. The school is organized so the classrooms are protected under pieces of a strong shell which in places are partly buried in the earth or sheltered by the surrounding trees, around two large social spaces from which the students test their wings in the world and develop their connections to it and one another. Overlaid are the adjacency issues relating to the lower school, and the sloping of the site.

The first concept sketches show a regular form—the school in a circular shape, as if imitating the clearings in which the younger children say the fairies play—with a quite different form for the students’ residences rising out of it. The eye-like shape in plan was initially accidental, but then seen as appropriate. Finally, it disappeared as the students’ residential areas were omitted from the program.

What was initially an almost rational engineering solution to the form of the building rapidly diverged as it was tested against the concept of birth from the earth. The from was broken repeatedly, just leaving the circle still etched into the ground around the whole upper school. The spaces sheltered under broken pieces of roof.