Description and photos of a new student commons at an independent high school in Marin, California. It gives students a much-needed gathering space with an unusual degree of connection to the outdoors. Sited in a narrow glen between upper and lower campuses, the structure includes a dining hall, a kitchen, offices, a lounge, and support spaces. Three large overhead doors open onto a generous plaza for dining, meeting, and outdoor learning. Extensive glazing provides views of the hills and floods the space with natural light. The building is LEED Platinum certified; sustainable strategies include a living roof, radiant heating, natural ventilation, photovoltaic panels, and pervious paving.
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