Menlo-Atherton High School
Sequoia Union High School District
Performing Arts Center Design Competition – 2005
In 2005, the Sequoia Union High School District invited architectural firms to participate in a competition to design a new Performing Arts Center for Menlo-Atherton High School. SSA teamed with the internationally recognized architect Antoine Predock to embark on this endeavor.
Our participation in the competition represented an attempt to tackle the impending needs of the cultural side of the student body as well as integrate the natural and historical features of the surrounding area. Our team noted that the school valued its rich and prosperous art department, so our collective design goal was to not only emphasize the artistic traditions of the school, but also establish a deep connection with the students as an integral part of everyday life.
The site and building are crafted to invite participation from all directions. The trends, movement and social behavior of the school’s students were considered in the planning process. This ultimately created “The Day in the Life of A School,” a concept the jury grasped in our unique approach to understanding the conceptual context. At the presentation, the project architect for the client commented that the exterior planning, the integration of existing buildings, and the circulation of programs far exceeded their expectations. The existing 200-year-old oak trees served as a welcoming entrance to the facility.
Architectural Design and Planning