Crossroads School Unveils New Science Education & Research Facility


SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 15, 2015—Crossroads School for Arts & Science is proud to announce the completion of its new Science Education & Research Facility, the first new building on the School’s 21st Street Campus in nearly 20 years. Frederick Fisher and Partners designed the structure, which now houses the Middle and Upper School science programs.

The facility was completed by Morley Builders over the summer before the start of the 2015-16 school year. In February 2014, the School broke ground on the project. The design process was a community effort that involved Crossroads alumni, students, faculty, staff and administrators every step of the way.

“We set out to build a facility that reflects the dynamic changes taking place in science educa­tion, one that could serve our students for generations to come,” said Head of School Bob Riddle and Board of Trustees Chair Bob Friedman in a statement. “Its design supports flexible, creative, interdisciplinary and collaborative projects and curriculum, enabling our exceptional teachers to provide a science education that is both challenging and joyful, inspiring students to question, invent and dream.”

The 25,000-square-foot facility includes seven Upper School science classrooms, five Middle School science classrooms, three faculty prep rooms, one student study area and a Projects Pavilion that features two project classrooms and one outdoor living laboratory. The building, situated adjacent to Crossroads’ Peter Boxenbaum Arts Education Centre, revolutionizes the way that science is taught at the School, offering boundless opportunities for advanced discovery and exploration between various academic departments.

“The ethos of Crossroads School is of art and science. The notion of interdisciplinary collaboration between these fields is an aspect of the Crossroads culture consistent with my approach to architecture,” building architect Frederick Fisher said.

Visible from both the 10 Freeway and 20th Street, the stunning building opens up to the Alley, the hub of the School’s 21st Street Campus.

Throughout the building exist special touches that tie in the entire Crossroads community and exemplify the School’s commitment to both arts and sciences. For example, the walls of the Project Pavilion are embedded with fossil lines—including a megalodon tooth (from the largest prehistoric shark) that dates as far back as 30 million years ago—designed by students, faculty and staff. The Pavilion’s open terrace also features an engraved compass rose designed by a student.

Atop the Pavilion rests a hyperbolic paraboloid sculpture by esteemed environmental artist Ned Kahn, who created the piece as a visual reminder of the hidden interplay between wind and gravity. It illuminates an often unrecog­nized natural phenomenon with its responsive metal flaps.

A human sundial invites visitors into the building’s expansive courtyard which includes the Monarch Butterfly Plaza, a feeding garden that will allow students to study and potentially bolster the dwindling species’ population.

Classrooms on the 21st Street Campus are named rather than numbered. Most of the classrooms in the science building bear the names of groundbreaking scientists, such as theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, biophysicist Rosalind Franklin, astronomer Galileo Galilei and astronaut Sally Ride.

Not only does the facility meet the School’s nationally recognized standards for sustainability, it also features energy-generating photovol­taic panels embedded into the glass curtain wall, recycled denim insulation throughout, LED light fixtures and ample natural light, a storm-water filtration system and energy-efficient plumbing. The building itself is a laboratory, enabling students and teachers to interact with the facility creatively and inspiring young learners to become the leaders in science and technology that our changing world requires.

About Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences

Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences is a K-12, coed college preparatory school in Santa Monica, California. Crossroads was founded upon five basic commitments: to academic excellence; to the arts; to the greater community; to the development of a student population of social, economic and racial diversity; and to the development of each student’s physical well-being and full human potential. One in four students receives financial assistance. The School is highly acclaimed for its programs and is a leader in public/private educational partnerships.