Malcolm S. White Elementary School

Woburn, Massachusetts


City of Woburn


67,000 sq.ft.

Total Cost


Completion Date


The new school replaces a 1956 building. This child-focused design responds to the different rates, environments and techniques in which children learn. The hybrid design is of the traditional double-loaded corridor/classroom, and an open floor plan conducive to team-teaching. This plan blurs boundaries between traditional teaching spaces and paths of travel. The sequencing of spaces creates movement from public, to semi-private, to private. Traditional thresholds are eliminated and instead are defined by light, color and materials.
Public spaces explode with natural light and bursts of color. Dynamically placed skylights and planes of color— vibrant orange, pale sage and midnight blue—cast playful shadows on crafted, stained veneer, MDF benches and display cases. The wrapping of this material defines both negative and positive space, forming case and bench, while the implied peeling of material from the wall reveals a contemporary flavor to the imposed traditional facade. These public areas become inviting spaces for gathering and learning, not bound by classrooms.

Additional Information

Cost per Sq Ft


Featured in

2005 Educational Interiors

Interior category

Common Areas

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