Design Tech High School
Redwood City, Calif.
Best Project

Owner: Oracle Corp.
Lead Design/Structural Firm: DES Architects + Engineers
General Contractor: XL Construction
Civil Engineer: BKF
MEP Designer: Integral Group
Landscape Architect: DES Architects + Engineers

Located on the shores of San Francisco Bay, Design Tech High School sits on the edge of Oracle Corp.’s campus, surrounded by green spaces with walking and biking paths.

The project’s three decision-makers—Oracle, the Oracle Education Foundation and Design Tech High School—divided the project into areas of responsibility. Oracle oversaw building shell design, information technology and sustainability. The high school led interior planning, and the foundation acted as a facilitator between the corporation and the four-year-old charter school.

In response to a request to reduce the construction cost by nearly 20%, the team reevaluated the school’s design. Classrooms were designed to be generic and subject-agnostic with operable walls and multiple types of breakout spaces, providing staff and students with multiple ways to customize the space. The school also received shared access to the conference center across the street. These moves reduced the school’s space needs by 10,000 sq ft.

To blend with the site’s sloping geography, the 64,000-sq-ft building was designed with contours like a ribbon. The front entryway features a swooping canopy that peels away from the structure.

Along 1,200 ft of the project, crews restored land along the shoreline to natural conditions by re-vegetating the slopes with native plants. Contractors also upgraded the bayside levee to meet 100-year storm requirements at anticipated 2070 sea levels.

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