Since we’re on the subject of architecture, here’s a local project that may end up taking over the faces of many buildings around Los Angeles: The NZE Prototype. NZE is a sustainable design concept that marries already standing structures with adaptations and pre-made modifications intended to make a building more eco friendly. The project is made for community oriented buildings–like schools and cultural centers–to help them be more cost efficient. Also, the prototype is quite eye catching.
The concept was created by Swift Lee Office (AKA SLO), a local architecture firm founded by Gloria Lee and Nathan Swift. NZE was thought up in 2010, when it won the LAUSD Prototype School Design Competition. They’ve gone on to be published in several publications and to win several other awards, including the National School Board Association 2012 Exhibition of School Architecture Citation award. SLO and related architecture firms are proving just how easy and necessary sustainable environments are–especially in arenas related to communities.
As you can tell, SLO’s prototype is at the center of design and sustainability. What makes NZE standout is that it’s a simple, easy idea and the model can adapt to physical structures as well as pedagogical needs of a learning center. It rethinks schools by adding Solar Skins, air and light recycling, and many multi-use spaces for learning and events. Simple concepts, yes, but they haven’t been applied to schools yet. “The NZE Prototype design is not a singular building solution, but rather, a set of strategies for solving myriad needs for both charter schools and district schools,” they explain. “The NZE Prototype is able to adapt to a variety of cultural and physical contexts, able to blend in or stand out from its surrounding environment, and able to change size according to site conditions and program requirements.” As they point out, this is very valuable to urban learning institutions as cities are always changing–especially cities like Los Angeles!
The NZE Prototype could potentially reshape how schools are built and refashioned since the concept is so easy, helpful, and versatile. According to their components page, the first NZE Prototype is scheduled to be build in the LAUSD in 2013. We’re excited to see what comes of the project and, hopefully, how it literally reshapes schools in our area (and beyond!).