Wood End Elementary School

Reading, Massachusetts

  • FIRM

    Flansburgh Architects

  • CLIENT

    Reading Public Schools

  • AREA

    56,000 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $8,400,000.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    8/2004

This two-story, 56,000-square-foot elementary school is situated on 11 acres adjacent to town forests. It is envisioned as a school-in-the-woods, intended to provide its 425 students with an engaging environment for learning.

The classroom wing, the quiet contemplative side of the school, is to the south and has views to preserved woods. To the north is the gymnasium ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY425COST PER SQ FT$150.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio cafeteria wing, which houses public and active functions. Between these wings is the entry courtyard, a large, open gathering space protected from north winds by the cafeteria. The courtyard leads to the two-story entry and media center, which together form the core of the school. Connecting the whole is an atrium, open to the rafters above and enlivened by the second-floor bridge.

The building has exposed timber structure and is flooded with natural light. Structural and mechanical systems are expressed deliberately to make the building itself a teaching tool. The warmth of the exposed timber structure, coupled with the direct expression of materials, provides students with a rich and stimulating learning environment.