Nestled in a dense residential neighborhood, Belmont Day School recently added a middle school. Designers planned a comprehensive new wing to house classrooms and other shared educational resources; their challenge was to retain the school’s intimate scale as it grew.
For instance, the architect clustered middle-school classrooms around a centralized kiva and media COST PER SQ FT$169.00FEATURED IN2003 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYClassrooms to encourage community-based learning. Echoing the community-building theme, the design integrated resources, such as science and fine-arts areas near the axis between the old and new wings. Physically submerging the gymnasium into the hillside made it accessible to all grades and preserved the school’s family-friendly proportions. The former gym was transformed into a vital performing-arts space and interactive classroom that now anchors the original academic wing.
The design adds more lower-school classrooms with luminous walls of glass and proximity to outdoor play spaces. The school now forms a natural ‘L’ focused on its outdoor recreational resources.