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Media Arts Center, Palo Alto Unified School District
Palo Alto, CA
Media Arts Center, Palo Alto Unified School District
Beginning with a
question.
A landmark institution defines the future of media arts.
21st-century journalism.
Affectionately nicknamed “Paly,” Palo Alto High School is a landmark institution with a long history of graduating notable artists, reporters and technology innovators. Following the passage of a $378 million Strong Schools Bond, former Paly journalism advisers pitched the concept of adding a media arts center to the campus. The inspiration for the project arose from a single question: “What is the newsroom/classroom of the future going to look like?”

The resulting vision is a media arts facility adapted for the 21st century—a campus hub and community center that supports collaboration, innovation, transparency and multi-platform publishing. The new, two-story structure is fully equipped with cutting-edge journalism technology, including video, editing and recording equipment. To reduce environmental impact, our team incorporated an energy-efficient building envelope and photovoltaic system. These high-performance features offset the facility’s electrical consumption, achieving grid neutrality.

Envisioned as a public gathering space as well as educational facility, the Center frequently hosts community events, including debates, lectures, film festivals and conferences—cementing its central position both on Paly’s campus, and within the community at large.
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Results
As part of the design process, Paly's journalism students were asked to describe their "dream journalism facility." Elements of these responses were integrated into the final design.
The Center's high-tech features include 12 LCD television screens, six soundproof interview booths and production facilities for Paly's daily broadcast show, InFocus."
Completion of the new Media Arts Center was a key component of Paly's overarching master plan.
Project Data
Media Arts Center 2009-D0011-000
Palo Alto Unified School District
Palo Alto, CA
PROJECT SCOPE
New Construction
HED ROLE
Design Architect
RSF/GSF
79,500
CONSTRUCTION COST
$27.6 Million
SUSTAINABILITY LEVEL
HED Standard
YEAR COMPLETED
2014
Project Team
  • Erwin Lee
    AIA
    Principal
    Sector Leader
    PRINCIPAL
A landmark institution defines the future of media arts.
Media Arts Center, Palo Alto Unified School District
Palo Alto, CA
PROJECT DATA
PROJECT TEAM
Beginning with a
question.