CONCEPT:  Completed in conjunction with Vesper Eco-Architecture, a private Montessori school charged us with renovating an existing 1980s church structure, and building a multiple classroom addition on a challenging site.

Informed by the tactile and practical education model of Montessori teaching, combined with the desire to satisfy the students’ curiosity about the natural world, a courtyard configuration was developed.  This courtyard provided a contained and controlled outdoor classroom, which transitions subtly to the larger and undeveloped site beyond.

A covered porch, created by the extension of the roof plane, provides both a sheltered classroom, as well as solar shading for the summer months.  Clerestory windows along with extensive courtyard window banks, maximize natural daylighting opportunities from both sides of the classroom spaces.

Hydronic heating within the stained concrete slab establishes a durable, warm and low maintenance interior environment conducive to learning in the earliest, investigative years.

The use of Cor-Ten steel siding, a naturally weathering material that develops a protective patina, furthers the anchoring idea of a building working in concert with natural forces over time.

Client Website: Jonathan Montessori School