The shared vision for the new Chartwell School campus was to create an exceptional, high-performance learning environment for children with learning variations. The result of a collaborative effort between users and the EHDD design team is a campus that takes full advantage of its hillside site overlooking Monterey Bay, integrates proven strategies to improve learning, and functions as a teaching tool about sustainability – all while dramatically reducing environmental impacts.
The school's design enhances learning by making wayfinding intuitive, clean, and aesthetically pleasing. The facility is organized around two connected courtyards with outdoor circulation space. Shapes and forms underscore the ideals of play, study, and collaborative learning. The building accommodates active spaces, quiet spaces for large and small group education, outdoor art spaces, a science garden, and trails through the native coastal oak woodland.
This LEED Platinum building uses photovoltaics to generate as much energy as it consumes – resulting in a zero-energy building. Extensive daylight monitoring ensures that every room in the school is fully day-lit, so virtually no electric lighting is needed. Additionally, rainwater collected in a cistern onsite is the main water source for the school.