Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Middle School Renovation

Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • FIRM

    Austin Architects


    Buckingham Browne & Nichols

  • AREA

    22,650 sq.ft.



Associated Firms: Consigli Construction,
Richard Burck Assoc. (Landscape), Building Engineering Resources (MEPFP), John Born Assoc. (Structural), Samiotes Consultants (Civil)

Design team
Jonathan Austin, Sisia Daglian

The Buckingham Browne & Nichols Middle School renovation project was prompted by extensive deferred maintenance and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONFEATURED IN2016 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation challenges, and a desire to maximize space use. The design expanded on these utilitarian needs to create new entrance and circulation patterns, excavating basement space to open out onto a new terrace. From a drop off at the front of the school, the terrace is reached via a carefully inserted boardwalk winding beneath two mature beech trees, whose magnificent canopies shade and define the outdoor space.
The entire center portion of the school was rebuilt to gracefully accommodate level changes between buildings of different time periods, creating two interconnected student foyers which have become the heart of the School. On either side, classrooms and admin-istrative spaces in the historic mansion and adjoining mid-20th century wing were renovated for classrooms, faculty offices, small meeting rooms and a learning commons.