The Boston Collegiate Charter School (formerly known as the South Boston Harbor Academy) needed a site for a new school where it could phase the growth of its increasingly successful, academically focused school for grades 6 to 12.
The ideal location turned out to be two adjacent, abandoned buildings in Boston’s inner-city Dorchester neighborhood. The buildings are COST PER SQ FT$95.75FEATURED IN2006 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation former convent and girls’ high school, with an asphalt drive and parking lot separating them.
The project required two critical elements: an arrival area with a strong sense of identity, and a place for students and faculty to gather for meetings before the construction of a gym/auditorium in a subsequent phase.
The solution was a contemporary glass-and-steel addition on the site of the old asphalt drive. It links the two buildings and serves as the central arrival area. The high ceiling and glass walls of the lobby provide a counterpoint to the traditionally proportioned rooms of the existing structures. It also was designed to function as a gathering place and area for school assemblies, with the broad stairs doing double-duty as stadium-style seating.
The exterior renovation maintained the character of the structures, and the interior renovation introduced contemporary materials and finishes. The front and rear facades of the addition show a playful approach to fenestration.