Michael J. Homer Science & Student Life Center, Atherton, Calif.
The 44,109-square-foot building incorporates an unusual hybrid program of eight sophisticated science classrooms, a 700-seat auditorium, a 350-seat dining hall with full commercial kitchen, and administrative offices in spaces that inspire scientific inquiry, foster a strong learning community and promote environmental stewardship. The Homer Center supports Sacred Heart Schools’ educational mission, inspiring respect for creation and teaching eco-literacy by offering a variety of integrated educational environments that connect students and faculty to the natural world around them on a daily basis. The design encourages scientific inquiry, linking the school’s science curriculum to building functions throughout the seasons — how it breathes, resists gravity, conserves precious resources and generates energy. (Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects)