Billerica Memorial High School
When the doors of Billerica Memorial High School opened on the first day of the new school year, a sense of pride permeated the halls—a palpable sense of gratitude for this physical expression of the town’s contemporary identity.
It’s rare that a single building has the power to shift the perception of an entire community—but that was exactly our opportunity in designing the new BMHS. Billerica had quietly reinvented itself in recent years, excelling in business, robotics, drama, and athletics, so we seized the chance to design a flexible, forward-looking educational environment that matched their myriad achievements. We partnered with students, staff, and community members to ensure that the town’s largest civic building embodied its aspirational commitment to education while respecting its historic civic legacy. It’s a concept we’ve called reflection with direction—honoring the past, aiming for the future—and it’s woven throughout the fabric of the new building’s architecture, detailing, and branding. The school demonstrates how simplicity gives rise to depth, and how we, collectively, can be re-made.
Simple, honest materials are synthesized in inventive, three-dimensional compositions. This language stands as a metaphor for the mission of the “maker” classroom, a part of the school’s guiding curriculum.
Founded on the town’s culture of humble pride, our design of the full suite of logos, colors, fonts, and graphics empowers the town to confidently represent itself in any setting.
By colocating labs and universal classrooms around open flexible spaces, instructors in different departments are empowered to collaborate in small project-focused “town centers.”
Acoustic, life safety and flexibility in the student commons necessitated a creatively integrated daylighting solution. South facing skylight monitors pour light downwards, concealing a carefully integrated exhaust system that removes smoke in an emergency. All achieved while acoustically dampening ambient noise from the multi-story space below.
John Curran, Billerica Town Manager