John S. Martinez PreK-8 School

New Haven, Connecticut

  • FIRM

    Svigals + Partners


    New Haven Public Schools

  • AREA

    100,000 sq.ft.





An extensive site survey was conducted to determine the location for this new preK-8 school. The program includes a gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium, pool, media center, administrative offices and classrooms. It was organized to place the largest elements to the rear of the site toward an industrial zone and the smaller classrooms are situated opposite the homes. The ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY600COST PER SQ FT$235.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio now provides a successful transition for the neighborhood, and its community facilities are easily accessible and used extensively by the entire city.

Creating light and space were two primary goals in the design. By organizing the plan around a central courtyard, introducing interior clerestory light and opening the building’s corners, light fills the school throughout. Foyers at every classroom relieve the width of the hallways, and common areas are generous and light-filled.

The building mass was reduced by expressing each individual classroom with sail-like forms inspired by boats in the nearby harbor. The classrooms are traditional rectangular spaces enlarged by a gentle curved wall, offering flexible breakout space. The result is an undulating facade that animates the entire street.