Hamilton International Middle School, Historic Renovation/Addition

Seattle, Washington

  • FIRM

    BLRB Architects


    Seattle School District

  • AREA

    127,705 sq.ft.





Personalized learning, collaboration, flexibility, community connection—these were the primary goals identified by the broad-based school design team for the renovation of Hamilton International Middle School. Hamilton’s ethos stresses global perspective, emphasizing foreign language, math and science.

The floor plan ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMRolluda ArchitectsCAPACITY900COST PER SQ FT$350.00FEATURED IN2011 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation the historic 1927 building could not accommodate the curriculum’s collaborative, flexible instruction needs. The design solution completely reorganized the interior, creating six small learning communities, each with three general classrooms, special-needs classroom and one science classroom, clustered around flexible shared learning space. Six foreign-language classrooms, special-education classrooms, applied technology and digital arts labs, and music education space serve all six communities.

A two-acre site and 31-foot elevation differences from side to side posed obstacles to an addition and the integration of old and new features. A gymnasium with lobby and outdoor play area were integrated carefully on the north side of the site, and a section of existing building was demolished and rebuilt to house additional classroom space. The residential character of the surrounding neighborhood influenced the addition design. New structures present lower facades than the historic structure and employ a distinctive, yet complementary palette of concrete masonry and fiber cement panels, integrating the school into its neighborhood.