Camino Nuevo Early Childhood Education Center
- Location Los Angeles, CA
- Type Education
- Area 32,500 SF
- Completion 2007
- Client Pueblo Nuevo Development
The CNCA Early Childhood Education Center is the fifth independent parcel renovated by kdA to establish the Burlington campus of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. The preceding projects, a K-5 elementary school, playground, and middle school on two sites, are joined by a preschool and after-school dance program, which brings year-round education programs to the MacArthur Park community.
The site for the project was a 25,000 sf warehouse built of masonry walls and timber trusses. The original building was damaged in the 1993 Northridge earthquake and repaired in a manner unsuitable for use as an educational facility. We addressed this issue by removing large sections of the warehouse to create playground space and reconfiguring the structurally sound remaining sections as three preschool classrooms, administrative space and art facilities. Large overhangs protect the classrooms from midday sun while allowing direct observation from classroom to playground.
The 7500 sf Dance facility rests at the rear of the warehouse site, allowing for acoustical separation for the Early Childhood Program. A corridor resembling a main street allows weekend access to the dance studio, which is maintained by the Gabriela Axelrod Foundation, a non-profit devoted to providing low-cost dance classes to children in Los Angeles. The dance space consists of a large studio with sprung wooden floors that can be subdivided into two smaller performance and practice spaces.
From its modest first phase, the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy has been about recovering and reclaiming overlooked urban resources. In addition, the large courtyard playspace allows a landscape intervention to weave through the block-long campus.