High School #9 is the latest addition to the LA Unified School District's investment in forward thinking architecture. Located on the edge of the 'canyon' created by the 101 freeway, it sits directly opposite of the Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. The school campus will include four academies for education in music, dance, theater arts and visual arts, and a theatre which will be open to the public. The theatre lobby that forms the public entrance to the theatre, symbolically emphazises the openness of the school to the public and simultaneously serves as an exhibition space which can be linked to the visual arts studios and the event space on top of the tower. A truncated cone, placed at the centre of the site, serves as an oculus to the library below. A grand stair case wrapping around the cone creates a large public space that still affords some privacy in the busyness of downtown.
Site area: 9.8 acres/39.578 square meters
Floor area: 230,000 square feet/21.204 square meters
Scheduled opening: Fall 2008
User: LAUSD District 4
Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au