Eastside College Preparatory School, the only high school in East Palo Alto, is an independent, non-profit school for scholarship students from low-income and minority families. As the centerpiece of the new campus, in a low-rise, residential neighborhood, the Performing Arts Center takes its design cues as much from its program as from its environment. Given a small budget and a relatively small footprint, the building packs the necessary programmatic requirements around the theater, nestled in the center to protect it from outside noises. A multi-purpose space, classrooms for art and music and a darkroom complete the structure. The building and the campus are animated by the activities encouraged at the perimeter of the building—informal encounters, outdoor classrooms, and practice performances.


Photography credits: Richard Barnes, Sharon Risedorph