Eastside High School Performing Arts Center

2101 Pulgas Avenue
East Palo Alto, California

  • Architect: Fernau & Hartman Architects
  • Contractor: Vance Brown Builders
  • Developer: Eastside College Preparatory School
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Eastside exterior
Credit: Sharon Risedorph

A simple structural design and careful detailing help to make the most of this independent school's precious resources

Eastside College Preparatory School was founded in 1996 to serve the disadvantaged East Palo Alto neighborhood, which had closed its only high school 20 years earlier. The heart of the school’s campus is the 10,200-sq-ft Center for the Arts, which includes a 194-seat theater and an 80-seat music-performance room, both located at the building’s center to diminish ambient noise. Arts-related classrooms, a darkroom, and a dance studio are set around these central performances spaces, activating the building’s perimeter.

The complex integrates concrete masonry bearing walls with structural steel-framed floors and roof. Intricate detailing and exposed framing provide aesthetic impact.






Executed as Tipping Mar