Menlo Park, CA

This modest but AIA award winning 5,200 square foot expansion to Trinity School, an independent K150;5 school in the middle climate of Menlo Park, California, provided the opportunity to create a stronger entry to and identity for the school. The addition, which includes music, science and arts classrooms and administrative offices, was sited to establish a new heart for the campus and to bring definition to the previously unclear entry experience. The school146;s mission of sustainability and respecting the environment is supported with the new project, which celebrates the natural setting and provides space for outdoor learning.


Beyond providing much-desired program space, the project provides two covered terraces that knit the addition into the existing campus. The terraces and a monumental stair create a new formal gathering space for the community of students and teachers, which is also used casually between classes and during lunch. The main stair greatly improves the circulation between the two levels of the school and provides direct access to the coveted lush lower yard and play areas.

When the students aren146;t outdoors, the new flexible indoor classrooms take advantage of the picturesque setting and bring the outdoors in. Each classroom provides glazing and natural light from three sides, providing panoramic views of the hilly and picturesque landscape. The abundance of controlled natural light contributes to a comfortable and healthy learning environment for the students.


Overhangs and building orientation minimize solar gains while optimizing the benefits of daylighting. All the circulation between classrooms is outdoors, reducing the building size to its maximum efficiency. All indoor spaces are naturally cooled through cross ventilation and high thermal mass construction. During colder months, radiant floor heating efficiently improves the indoor comfort and air quality.


Type:  New Construction
Size:  5,200 SF
Architect: Marc Cavagnero Architects


601 Montgomery Street, Suite 1450
San Francisco, CA 94111


415 987 3337