King David School
While politicians and psychologists debate whether it takes a village to raise a child, the King David School uses a village model to provide a rich educational environment for its students. A number of characteristics found in ancient hamlets inform the design of this Jewish day school. Responding to the need for security, the main entry is though a gated opening in a formidable site wall flanked on one site by the stone and glass tower of the administration building. After breaching the entry, the school reveals itself though a meandering path of connected courtyards. These courtyards are composed as residual spaces between the field of buildings. They provide spaces for gathering, playing, and education, and are landscaped to connote intimacy in the small, asymmetrical spaces. Creating these spaces are buildings of various heights, colors, and textures whose differences help locate students within the village of the school.
Besides programs necessary for any educational institution, the school also houses uses specific to its constitution as a Hebrew academy. A Biblical garden educates the students through plants and flowers prominent in the Old Testament. Scripture references are provided, along with plant names and species, as visitors walk along the garden path. Similarly, a planting garden for young students allows them to participate in the adornment of the campus each year. A sanctuary allows for the passing on of traditions and rituals while students and facility to participate in religious celebrations together. By day this east-facing space is lit by a large window composed of richly colored glass; at night this window glows with backlighting.
The King David School testifies to the use of a village as a model for an educational campus. Its diverse spaces, both built and landscaped, house unique programs to cultivate the lives of its students.