The Montessori Magnet School in the City School District of Albany was one of three new elementary schools we designed for the district concurrently. It incorporates the principles of Montessori educational philosophy within a public school program that serves a large population of socio-economically challenged students. In keeping with Montessori curriculum, the classrooms house two grades and are designed to feel homelike with wood finishes and furnishings. A 10-foot ceiling and exposed ductwork allow indirect lighting with three levels of switching. An operable wall between the gym, music room and cafeteria allows the stage to be open and incorporated into either of the spaces.
Replacing an aged school building that was located in the center of the site, the new building is located close to one street, allowing for a large south-facing play area. A double height lobby connects the two entries with the gym and cafetorium which also are available to the community after hours.
Using different paint colors to articulate the segmented wings, the exterior reflects and harmonizes with the neighborhood of modest houses.