The Oaks School
Los Angeles, CA
Promoting Recreation and Discovery for Students on an Urban Campus
Project Details


Los Angeles, CA

Practice Theme

Building Community + Place

What We Did

Landscape Architecture, Architecture


15,000 sq. ft.
The Oaks School is a progressive, independent K-6 school established in 1985 and located in the heart of Hollywood adjacent to the iconic Hollywood United Methodist Church.

Since its creation, the school’s student centered classrooms and curriculum have successfully fostered the belief that joy of childhood and the joy of learning can go hand in hand. However, the urban campus struggled with its own sense of identity separate from the church and had very little outdoor green space. The project was intended to enhance that identity and provide the urban campus with much needed green space for recreation, discovery, play and dining.

Studio One Eleven designed a large-scale improvement project that created a distinct entrance for students and parents, a new central green space with jogging paths, and took advantage of the site topography to create a series of terraced native gardens with decomposed granite walks that link the campus together. In addition, the campus expansion program called for shaded seating areas, an amphitheater, a climbing wall and new play features. The result was a tactile, naturalistic environment designed for children, an urban oasis with opportunities for outdoor classroom activity and individual discovery. The former main entry, which once doubled as a trash area and raised loading dock, was transformed into a verdant, welcoming space that features a vine covered timber trellis, new stair and ramp, drought tolerant plantings, sign graphics and native Oak trees. The outdoor green space project was done in close collaboration with the school’s leadership and a community of parents to help fund and execute the creation of this wonderful place.

The Studio also provided interior renovation plans to improve the student environment by eliminating unused storage, creating more efficient circulation and consolidating small or awkwardly shaped rooms. A plan established new classrooms and offices, reconfigured hallways, new building access points and updated classrooms. The design produced much needed music and maker spaces for students, staff facilities, enhanced interior finishes and furnishings, and improved and modernized lighting throughout much of the school.

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