Alta Vista
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Alta Vista

October 18, 2018

Alta Vista School approached Pfau Long Architecture to create a new middle school to house their quickly expanding student body. Alta Vista had recently leased a shell retail space in the heart of the Mission with limited windows and no yard. They wanted to turn this space into a vibrant and active environment that would enhance their rich STEAM program as well as reflect the school’s values of responsibility, character development, integrity and freedom. Challenged by the tight schedule and dark space, Pfau Long designed a solution that organized the program around an open commons surrounded by classrooms. The makers classroom, which is integral to Alta Vista’s collaborative and interactive program, is given prime space along the exterior windows. Expansive interior windows between the makers classroom and common spaces showcase constant activity and bring natural daylight into the building. Between each room are large clerestories, bringing natural light and emphasizing the intertwined program and layering of spaces. The building houses a black box theater that opens into the commons, music practice rooms, as well as basketball and volleyball courts. The interiors of these spaces are designed to reflect the mutual respect and trust demonstrated by Alta Vista students and staff. This translates into clean spaces with crisp use of color and finishes and refined whimsical touches used in unexpected ways through lighting, furniture and graphics.


Phase 1: December 2016
Phase 2: August 2017


New Middle School / Tenant Improvement


Dwight Long, Principal in Charge
Meaghan Dufford, Project Manager
Aynav Mohr, Designer


Murphy Burr Curry, Structural
Engineering 350, MEP
Charles M. Salter, Acoustics


14,235 gsf


Kyle Jeffers

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