VMDO was hired to provide master planning and comprehensive design services for the new Edna Karr High School, a two-use high school doubly serving the functions of public school and charter school for the Algiers community in the Old Aurora neighborhood of New Orleans.

To serve both academic communities, VMDO is emphasizing flexible, adaptable spaces that inspire and engage the teaching and learning communities. Small learning communities of 150 students or less will help reinforce and protect the nurturing environment of a small-scale school housed in the design of a larger facility. In addition, professional teacher spaces will help recruit and retain quality professionals while enhancing interdisciplinary offerings and increasing the efficiency and utilization of classrooms.

Informal and formal learning spaces will encourage learning to happen both inside and outside the traditional classroom. There is a continuum of learning spaces ranging from “specialized” (labs and departmental spaces with specific services), to “generic” (scheduled but flexible multi-use classrooms), to ”informal” (visible, collaborative and collegiate public space for impromptu, independent and project-based work). The informal learning spaces are a logical outgrowth of the “small learning communities” concept. The design intent and building layout bolster a sense of belonging, identity, and school pride, while incorporating passive security and transparency measures to create an environment of increased student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction that is dynamic while safe, secure, and supervised.

VMDO was hired to provide master planning and comprehensive design services for the new Edna Karr High School, a two-use high school doubly serving the functions of public school and charter school for the Algiers community in the Old Aurora neighborhood of New Orleans.

To serve both academic communities, VMDO is emphasizing flexible, adaptable spaces that inspire and engage the teaching and learning communities. Small learning communities of 150 students or less will help reinforce and protect the nurturing environment of a small-scale school housed in the design of a larger facility. In addition, professional teacher spaces will help recruit and retain quality professionals while enhancing interdisciplinary offerings and increasing the efficiency and utilization of classrooms.

Informal and formal learning spaces will encourage learning to happen both inside and outside the traditional classroom. There is a continuum of learning spaces ranging from “specialized” (labs and departmental spaces with specific services), to “generic” (scheduled but flexible multi-use classrooms), to ”informal” (visible, collaborative and collegiate public space for impromptu, independent and project-based work). The informal learning spaces are a logical outgrowth of the “small learning communities” concept. The design intent and building layout bolster a sense of belonging, identity, and school pride, while incorporating passive security and transparency measures to create an environment of increased student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction that is dynamic while safe, secure, and supervised.

Client: New Orleans Recovery School District

Location: New Orleans, LA

Discipline: Middle & High Schools

Completion: 2018

Size: 143,153 SF