Marin Primary and Middle School

Category: Learn
Larkspur, CA

The existing 235,000 square foot property is undergoing a variety of site improvements including exterior amphitheaters, trellises, ramps, construction of a new timber framed shed for emergency storage, small additions to existing buildings, ADA upgrades and a 6,700 square foot multi-purpose building. The single story, 32’ tall, multi-purpose building utilizes proprietary steel special moment frame connections.

Two tension fabric shade structures were designed and constructed at Marin Primary and Middle School in Larkspur, California. One larger shade sail covers a gently sloping amphitheater space of approximately 1,200 square feet which can seat an audience of 160 and will be used as an event space for school functions such as performances and graduations. Located in the center of the outdoor space on the campus, this structure is a focal point of the site both visually and functionally. It is comprised of three triangular fabric and cable sails which connect to five round steel columns of varying heights that are placed in a widened pentagon pattern around the perimeter of the amphitheater. The tallest two columns at the front of the space stand 17’-6” from the ground, while the shortest column in the rear middle is 8’-0” in height. The foundation for each column consists of a concrete-encased steel grade beam spanning between two Torque-Down Piles to resist large overturning forces from wind uplift on the fabric membrane.

A smaller, triangular tension fabric shade structure of is located approximately 100 feet from the larger structure and provides shade to a 200 square foot sand play area below. Constructed similarly to the large shade, the fabric spans to steel cables which attach to three steel columns. The tallest column is 10’-6”, while the shortest two columns are 8’-0”. Grade beam foundations were able to be utilized at this structure in lieu of piles.

Size 235,000 sf
Completed 2014
Architect Pfau Long Architecture
Contractor Alten Construction
Owner Marin Primary and Middle School