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ruben garcia rubio
Spain

Rubén García Rubio (Zamora, 1980), is an architect from the Universidad de Valladolid (2006), Master in Architectural Restoration at the Univeridad de Valladolid and he also followed the Architettura/Storia/Progetto Master at the Univesitá degli Studi Roma Tre. He is preparing his PhD thesis at the University of Valladolid and Roma Tre called: “Apa... / More

Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School opens in San Diego

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Photo credit:Mike Torrey Photography

Studio E Architects is pleased to announce the grand opening of Albert Einstein Academies (AEA) newest facility at 458 26th Street in the Grant Hill neighborhood in San Diego, California. On September 2 this new charter Middle School (AEACMS) opened its doors to 475 enrolled students. At maximum capacity the school will be home to 600 sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. This is Albert Einstein Academies’ second campus. Their charter elementary school remains at their existing location at 3035 Ash Street, a few miles NE of the new middle school.

The school was designed by Studio E Architects, who took a long vacant and dilapidated former convalescent hospital and transformed it into a vibrant place of learning. The 38,000sf, 4-story building contains 20 daylight-filled classroom spaces along with a variety of support spaces including specialty labs, offices and informal gathering areas. The state-of-the-art renovation was completed within 9 months for a construction cost of $3.6 million. That’s an impressive $95/sf.

Says David Sciarretta, AEA Executive Director, "We are thrilled with our new building. The design is a direct support for our students' achievement and for fostering a well-balanced community of learners and leaders."

Photo credit:Mike Torrey Photography

A highlight of the building is the new open stair that has been inserted between the street-side lobby and the multi-purpose space at the level below. A bright super-graphic on the wall adjacent to the stair displays the principles of International Baccalaureate education. Additional graphics are prominently displayed on walls throughout the building reinforcing the schools educational philosophy.

At the top level of the building, the open plan media center has views to the adjacent park. This multi-functional space combines areas for individual study and collaboration as well as gathering and socializing. A “genius bar” complete with Apple computers is a popular place for students to perch. Near the media center is a Maker’s space – fitted out with the all the latest tools and gadgets including the school’s 3-D printer.

Photo credit:Mike Torrey Photography

The lowest level of the building with the most direct access to the exterior recreation area hosts a dedicated fitness room – complete with work-out equipment and padded flooring. Also found on this level is a new elevated lunch deck adjoining the multi-purpose room. From here students and faculty can enjoy a snack or meal while overlooking sweeping views of the downtown skyline.

The project has been submitted for Silver level certification under the LEED for Schools program of the United States Green Building Council, and participated in the San Diego Gas & Electric Savings by Design program. The design is inherently sustainable by virtue of the reuse of an existing structure. The building envelope was upgraded with additional insulation and new energy efficient, operable windows. New, highly efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were installed to exceed current codes and reduce the long term operating expenses.

The design and construction team’s effort to transform this building both architecturally and in terms of energy efficiency impressed Jeff Cox, Project Executive with San Diego Gas & Electric, who stated “Seeing the facility in its original (abandoned) condition, it was difficult to imagine it serving as the school it is today. For reference, I have handled about 75 major projects this year and this facility stands alone as the most impressive effort I have seen of any building type.”

Photo credit:Mike Torrey Photography

The design and construction team’s effort to transform this building both architecturally and in terms of energy efficiency impressed Jeff Cox, Project Executive with San Diego Gas & Electric, who stated “Seeing the facility in its original (abandoned) condition, it was difficult to imagine it serving as the school it is today. For reference, I have handled about 75 major projects this year and this facility stands alone as the most impressive effort I have seen of any building type.”

The project’s exterior perforated metal screens were added to provide a new modern face to the building while also providing window shading and a safe, enclosed outdoor learning space off several of the classrooms. The building’s entrance is marked by an awning, wide stairs and concrete seat walls to provide a welcoming street presence.

The site challenges included a 20’ elevation drop between the building and upper parking and the lower parking to the west. The former lower parking lot was transformed into multi-purpose sports courts. A new ramp, stair and crosswalk were added to allow students to safely move from the school to the recreation area. The lower lot incorporates an on-site drop-off loop in addition to the required parking.

The project marks another collaboration with Bycor General Contractors, and our first with Hughes Marino representing Albert Einstein Academies on the team.

About Studio E Architects
Founded in 1987, Studio E Architects is based in San Diego, California. Studio E provides architecture and urban design services to public, nonprofit and private clients throughout the southwestern United States. In addition to its internationally recognized housing experience, Studio E Architects has been honored for its custom homes, educational & university work, mixed-use, public projects, and master planning efforts.

About Albert Einstein Academies

Albert Einstein Academies, the first authorized public charter schools with a K-8 International Baccalaureate continuum in San Diego, educates children to thrive and contribute as active thinkers in the world. They started in 2000 with a small group of parents and professionals dedicated to founding an independent charter school with a dual focus of German-English immersion with a rigorous academic instructional model. With a continued emphasis on foreign language learning (German and Spanish), their instructional program emphasizes critical thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and service to others. They are committed to increasing student access to their programs at all grade levels through the continued growth and development of their schools.

For more information and visuals please visit website

> via blog.studioearchitects.com


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