Brimmer and May School

Brimmer and May School Innovation Space

Newton, Massachusetts
School of the Future

Creative thinking, collaboration and community is at the core of the addition and renovation project at the Brimmer and May School. The new and re-purposed spaces foster active learning at the co-ed, independent Pre-K-12 school, while helping students develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills enhanced by the use of emerging technologies.

Our design reflects the educational intent by expressing a full range of fabrication through the raw concrete floors and exposed structure and mechanical systems, contrasted by the refinement of the central stair, walls, ceilings, and casework.  Fiber cement planks wrap the building’s exterior, responding to the dark-shingled houses of the school’s historic neighborhood, while the transparency of the building outwardly displays the innovation happening inside.  The new innovation lab and dedicated maker space support hands-on learning while the flexible student commons provides spaces to support group work, independent thinking, and project-based learning.

“Perkins&Will engaged teachers and staff to determine the optimal types of spaces required to teach students, to drive creativity, and to foster a sense of community. This project has created a flexible, open space where students naturally gravitate.”

– Judy Guild, Head of School

The design reflects the educational intent of the building–innovation and making–through the raw concrete floors, exposed structure, and mechanical systems to the contrasting refinement of the stair, walls, ceilings, and casework.

Mosaic thinking, collaboration, and community drove the planning of the project by ensuring that each space was flexible enough to support a variety of activities, experiences and uses, and the changing pedagogy of teaching and learning. The design supports the STEAM program by incorporating a large flexible innovation lab, maker space, break out rooms to present, collaborate and brainstorm, and a STEAM room that can be used for all types of science learning.

By re-organizing the program along a main circulation axis and clearly indicating the entry, the project provides a new identity for the school.

Project Team

Brooke Trivas