Preparatory Middle School Campus Gives Students a Front Row Seat

Pacific Ridge Academic Arts and Middle School, Carlsbad, CA

Pacific Ridge Academic Arts and Middle School is a private middle school located in Carlsbad, California. Pacific Ridge School was founded on the principle of providing “an excellent college preparatory secondary education” in Coastal North San Diego County. The campus is designed to promote an integrated curriculum; the open campus design encourages a fluid exchange of ideas within a strong academic community.

Phase 1 included a comprehensive campus master plan, a new academic arts building, a new middle school classroom building, an administration building, visual and performing arts building, a library and 350-seat multi-purpose amphitheater, culminating in a newly defined campus quad that connects with the high school and enhances campus cohesion.

The master planning process was built around close collaboration with students, faculty and parents, who offered keen insight and inspiration for how the campus could evolve. The campus design includes interior and exterior learning and active environments, continuing the school’s mission to extend the classroom to the outdoors. The resulting campus and its buildings emulate the Pacific Ridge philosophy, where “every student gets a front row seat, and each child is heard” – fostering participation and individual growth beyond the classroom.

New buildings are built upon the existing high school’s architectural language of material and form. Buildings open onto outdoor assembly spaces within the campus quad. In the open-air amphitheater, assemblies benefit from ample space for performance, lawn seating for students and room for parents and adults to sit comfortably. From within these double-height buildings, panoramic views of nature, with balanced daylight, natural ventilation, enhanced acoustics, moveable furniture, and advanced technology connections. Whether indoors or out, the campus now thrives as a single expression, strengthening the Pacific Ridge brand and experience.