The stepping two-story building spans the entire street front and flows with the natural topography of the school’s hillside location to create a much-needed new face of campus. A two-level administration wing anchors the new main entry, serving both the incoming public at its lower entry and students at the main level. The library’s placement at the northwest corner frames a secondary campus entry with the existing theater building, reinforcing the shared public use of these two programs. New classrooms and labs are located on the courtyard and upper level along with a demonstration roof garden that functions as an educational space for student and community use. The design integrates sustainable strategies that optimize learning environments while reducing reliance on mechanical and electrical systems. Abundant glazing throughout the building is protected by exterior circulation arcades with extensive sunshades, promoting outdoor physical and visual connections for students and staff. The dynamic yet functional design features generous daylighting, highly visible photovoltaic canopies, expansive sunshade devices, and angular roof elements, connecting students and staff with their surroundings. The revitalized student courtyard improves stormwater management and creates a variety of scaled use opportunities for students and supports outdoor teaching environments highly suitable to the Malibu climate.

During construction HMC led a seven-week design and construction seminar for the students, immersing them in the process. Students toured the job site, reviewed stakeholder surveys, and learned about design, construction, sustainability, landscape architecture, and energy and water management. During the last week, students were asked to present their designs—based on what they’d learned—while the project team provided valuable feedback and knowledge while encouraging students to dive deeper into the industry and open their minds to real-world opportunities.

“These modern buildings better match the high levels of learning and care that happen daily in our classrooms. The entire Malibu community is extremely proud of this project. – Malibu High School Principal Patrick Miller