Woodland Elementary School

Milford, Massachusetts

  • FIRM

    HMFH Architects


    Milford Public Schools

  • AREA

    132,539 sq.ft.





Design team: Laura Wernick, FAIA, REFP, LEED AP (Project Director); Matthew LaRue, AIA, LEED GA (Project Manager); Robert Williams, AIA, LEED AP (Project Architect); Chin Lin, AIA, LEED AP (Green/Sustainable Design Architect); Sara Rosenthal, AIA, LEED AP (Project Designer)


A challenge of this project—building one of the largest ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY985COST PER SQ FT$365.00CITATIONWilliam W. Caudill CitationFEATURED IN2017 Architectural Portfolio schools in Massachusetts—was to assure that each child felt at home. To this end, the school’s external massing is broken down into three parts instead of a single monolithic building. An academic wing is sandwiched between a gym and cafetorium. Each classroom has a protruding bay window that further breaks down the scale of the building and creates a sense of intimacy within the room.

Each floor within the three-story academic wing houses a single grade, and each floor is divided into three small learning communities with a five-classroom team. Each team has its own open, skylighted project area where students can work independently or collaboratively.

The three communities surround a central spine that functions like an interior street or learning commons. The spine connects the small learning communities with media space, amphitheaters and circular storytelling rooms. The diversity of spaces in the commons gives teachers flexibility to differentiate their instruction, and carefully planned adjacencies and sight lines enable teachers to supervise students easily.