John Eliot Elementary School

Needham, Massachusetts

  • FIRM

    DiNisco Design, Inc.


    Town of Needham, Permanent Public Building Committee

  • AREA

    70,000 sq.ft.





John Eliot Elementary School has produced a remarkable performing-arts program with a national reputation for its art, music and theater. The original 1955 school facility was undersized and in disrepair. The new facility built in its place captures the creative and performing-arts spirit and integrates the school with the intimacy of the secluded ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY460COST PER SQ FT$161.43FEATURED IN2004 Architectural Portfolio site.

The U-shaped plan organization situates the art, music and performing-arts spaces at the core of the building with commanding views to the site’s natural features.

At the heart of the school and the focal point upon entering the building is the Miriam Kronish Performing Arts Center. The performance center is flexible in its arrangement, allowing a variety of activities from intimate storytelling to large performances by opening a partition and extending it to the adjacent cafeteria seating. The classrooms are organized in a single-loaded corridor to maximize natural light and ventilation. The classrooms are clustered in groups of three and share common project areas, which house student cubbies and are used as additional small-group teaching spaces.