News

Creative Montessori School’s New Master Plan

August 15, 2018

Architects are reevaluating the way they create modern learning spaces, putting the student experience at the forefront of design. So much so that the AIA has a committee — the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education – devoted to this important sector of architecture.

This commitment to excellence in school design is evident at Creative Montessori School in Homewood. ArchitectureWorks in Birmingham has created a master plan for this innovative school that maximizes the learning experience based on its educational goals and plans for expansion.

Phase One is complete, which includes preschool classrooms, community and lunch rooms, administration offices, media center and site development. In addition, the firm designed and built a donor wall and furniture for the school.

“Creative Montessori is a close-knit community and the building reinforces this through its variety of scaled gathering spaces,” explains partner-in-charge Jay Pigford. “A large scale community room for school-wide meetings, shared outdoor spaces where students from adjacent classrooms come together, and paired entries to the classrooms where parent drop-off encourages informal catch-up moments.”

Wood harvested onsite from oak trees was used throughout the project as the ceiling finish. Flooding the spaces with natural light reduced artificial lighting needs while also connecting the spaces to the changing seasons and outdoor activity.

Direct access to the exterior from the classrooms weaves the building into the landscape and creates more opportunities for Montessori’s experience-based learning. Landscaping for the project was provided by Macknally Land Design and Johnson-Kreis Construction was the contractor. Both are based in Birmingham.

Image 1: The building contains several scaled gathering spaces. A large-scale community room for school-wide meetings, shared outdoor spaces where students from adjacent classrooms come together, and paired entries to the classrooms where parent drop off students encourages informal catch-up moments.

Image 2: Phase One of the master plan for Create Montessori School in Homewood is complete. In addition to site development, the first phase includes preschool classrooms, community and lunch rooms, administration offices and a media center.

Image 3: Wood harvested onsite from oak trees was used throughout the project as the ceiling finish. Flooding the spaces with natural light reduced artificial lighting needs while also connecting the spaces to the changing seasons and outdoor activity.

Image 4: Direct access to the exterior from classrooms weaves the building into the landscape and creates more opportunities for Montessori’s experience-based learning. ArchitectureWorks also designed and built a donor wall and the furniture for the school.

Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of ArchitectureWorks