Citizens of the World Charter Schools is nationally known for providing demanding, challenging and joyful learning environments. CSDA was asked to provide designs for their new home in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The new facility provides a permanent home for their thriving TK thru 5th grade community.

The school is located in an existing three-story mixed use building in one of Los Angeles’ historic neighborhoods. The school will house its approximately 600 student body and provide 21st Century Learning design spaces including: general classrooms, art room, collaborative learning spaces, community library, outdoor classrooms, outdoor lunch areas, and athletic facilities.


In November of 2014, the City of Hayward passed Measure L, which provided $229 million for Hayward Unified School District improvements including the design and construction of new STEAM buildings on each high school campus; Hayward High School, Tennyson High School & Mt. Eden High School. STEAM, which is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and math, supports an interdisciplinary project-based curriculum, which these new buildings will house.

The STEAM buildings provide eight Learning Spaces, two Science Labs, a Maker Space and Demonstration Lobby. Breakout rooms and alcoves provide spaces for small group collaboration and self-directed learning. Outdoor learning areas include an exterior maker space patio, orchard, garden and areas for group work and individual contemplation. The classrooms are designed to be flexible allowing for a variety of learning styles and teaching methodologies. These buildings are expected to achieve LEED Gold Certification.


CSDA partnered with GrowthPoint Structures on our second project to re-purpose shipping containers into permanent classroom buildings. The new Vaughn Portables to Project-Based Pods (P3) project is a complete replacement of all existing portable classroom buildings on the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center School (“Mainland”) Campus. They were replaced by new GrowthPoint Structures re-purposed shipping container buildings, providing fourteen (14) new classrooms, two (2) student toilet buildings and one (1) staff toilet building.

New site elements include a new school grove with permeable surfaces, trees and additional seating near the new trees. The new classrooms house computer laboratories and general education classrooms for fourth and fifth graders. The new school grove provides shade and seating for students to use during lunch, before school and for teachers to utilize if they wish to take their classroom curriculum outdoors. The project’s purpose is to provide the students and teachers with new educational and recreational spaces.

VAUGHN F.A.C.E.T. (Family and Community Education Tech Center)

CSDA partnered with GrowthPoint Structures for our first project to re-purpose shipping containers into DSA approved classroom buildings. The project provided four (4) 1,600 SF modular classroom buildings and one restroom facility building for the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center’s F.A.C.E.T. (Family and Community Education Tech Center) program in Pacoima, California.

These re-purposed shipping container buildings provide much needed flexible meeting spaces for adult education classes. The site is located across the street from the Vaughn Global Green Generation Academy (G3) on Herrick Avenue that CSDA designed as well. The central location provides direct access for the community and act as a central meeting space for the many after school activities that take place in the neighborhood. In addition to the new buildings, CSDA’s design incorporates a small parking area and green space.

The F.A.C.E.T. project is designed around flexibility to house multiple functions throughout the day that can be transformed easily through furnishings, accessible technology, and an open plan. The most significant design element of the project overall is the re-use of shipping containers as modular classroom buildings. CSDA and GrowthPoint worked in collaboration to deliver highly energy efficient buildings and as a result, exceeding Title 24 requirements in many areas. This allowed for complete re-use of a material/product which as a result eliminates significant construction waste and reduces the need for new raw materials.


Located on a highly-urbanized 15-acre site in South Los Angeles, the 351,000 sq. ft., $90,000,000 Augustus F. Hawkins High School is an example of how a school can transform a community and is one of the most highly regarded schools in the area. The school’s three Small Learning Communities (SLC) were the inspiration for the campus layout and design. Focusing on critical design and gaming, community health advocacy, and responsible indigenous social entrepreneurship, the school design provides an independent but connected home for each of its 2,025 students. Each floor of the four story structure is home to a Small Learning Community and is supported by a competition gym, practice gym and multi-purpose cafeteria/theater.

Providing 21st Century High Performance Learning Environments was the focus of the school. This was accomplished through flexible classroom spaces of varying sizes for large and small group learning, outdoor classroom and meeting spaces including an outdoor amphitheater where students can meet for class or have lunch,
and provide the technology back-bone needed to support the SLC curriculums. The school’s CHPS certification also served as a design tool for providing the school with the sustainable infrastructure needed to support the students and staff.

Project Highlights: Master Plan, New Campus, CHPS Design, 21st Century Design, Alternative Energy and Small Learning Communities (SLC).

Our Augustus F. Hawkins High School project is featured on archdaily