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West Hills Reggio Center

Abe and Kay Sterman Torah Center

Client Private
Date 2015
Size 5,500 sq ft
Budget $600,000
Architecture: Scalar Architecture – Julio Salcedo – Principal in Charge, Yetunde Ogunwumi, Megan Roy, Justin Tan, Adam Kuruc, Josh Carrelo-Mendez

Structural: Thomas D. Reilly P.E.

Materials: Standing seam enamel metal roof, recycled fiber cement panels, Steel and wood insulated windows, certified harvested wood floors, 2 by 6 balloon frame construction.

Photography: Miguel de Guzman, Imagen Subliminal


The pre-school is based on the Reggio pedagogical approach which fosters community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.  The environment as a whole becomes a “third teacher”.

To enhance pedagogical focus on active and exploratory space, we designed a series of focus relations to the outdoors and more importantly, spatial variety as implemented by the fenestration and roof lines. As an example, the alternating height window envelope defines child and adult spaces as well as it integrates the sectional shift of the program and topography.

A series of pedagogical legible passive energy and water harvesting methods as well as a geothermal system provide a sustainable structure.  Moreover, the roofline – besides its enunciated role in the harvesting of solar energy and water – integrates a previous attached 1950 pitch roof structure.

The project is sited on a residential neighborhood with stringent regulations. The design co-opts the standard materials and methods and transforms their assemblage.  This transformation is attained by engendering a series of geometric operations at different scales that provide a reiterative sequencing of folds and patterns.  The result allows to profoundly heighten the registers of entry, environment, program and perception from within these restrictions.