Bancroft Elementary School

Andover, Massachusetts

Design team
Alex Pitkin, AIA, (Principal Architect), Lorraine Finnegan, AIA, (Project Manager), Philippe Genereux (Project Architect), Andrew Oldeman, PE, (Mechanical Engineer), Roger Comee (Architectural Designer), Peter Lukacic, ASLA, (Landscape Architect), Jenifer Badershall (Interior Designer)

Nestled into one of Andover’s more rural neighborhoods, once ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY680COST PER SQ FT$376.00CITATIONElementary School CitationFEATURED IN2016 Architectural Portfolio with plots defined by stone walls and large grand homes, the new Bancroft School replaces a beloved but structurally failing open-plan school from the 1960s that was whimsically designed to look like a castle (complete with moat!). Working closely with neighbors, the project team arrived at a building that was most responsive to the educational plan, micro-climate and close-knit neighborhood.
The project embraced an integrated design approach. Administrators, teachers, students and neighbors participated throughout the design phases, and the result is a cross-pollination of design practices with a 21st-century teaching approach that reinforces educational awareness within the teaching curriculum.
The building’s star shape provides clear educational organization, enables team teaching and creates exuberant and active learning environments complemented with abundant daylight throughout the building.
Student gardens, a bike and walking pathway, protected forest areas and wetlands, and covered outdoor classrooms supplement the facility’s sustainable design strategies to engage with the site’s natural settings. The cafeteria/gymnasium serves a large community resource space divided by an operable wall.