Derby Academy, Science Center

Hingham, Massachusetts

The program included two complete lab classrooms with a shared prep room, one earth-science classroom, one mathematics classroom and a large-group area for ongoing science experimentation and community learning.

A new gazebo entrance and academic addition were built to provide ample program space. Residential cues such as clapboard siding, dormers, double-hung ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$200.00FEATURED IN2004 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYInterior Renovation and a traditional peaked roof give the exterior an intimate “small house” style associated with this school’s campus. Designers carried similar details inside, especially windows between public and semipublic spaces, to reinforce the home-like setting.

Just inside the entrance, the building now offers a communal learning space and a science gallery for hands-on education and interactive group work. It includes kiva-style seating and smart-board technology with network access for community-wide projects. Classrooms cluster around this pivotal common space. Designers also exposed structural and mechanical systems to reveal the building’s internal “science.”

Based on faculty input, the team created a compass rose pattern on the floor at the entrance to the science gallery. Its rays extend into all academic spaces. Wall and baseboard colors change where the rays intersect with vertical planes. Transparent panes in the sidelights of the science gallery offer future donor opportunities; they may be etched with symbols of earth, wind, water and fire.