Berkshire Elementary School

Baltimore, MD

Details
Prototype school design
Media center, cafeteria, gymnasium, general classrooms
Shared space for the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks use
Designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification
Owner
Baltimore County Public Schools
Services
Feasibility Study, Sustainable Design, Interior Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration, Building Information Modeling

A replacement school located on a tight site within a densely populated residential neighborhood, the new Berkshire Elementary School maximizes learning spaces, both indoors and out.

Comprised of a two-story classroom wing and a one-story cafeteria/gymnasium wing linked by a central core, the new school features a variety of interwoven collaboration spaces. A large learning commons with moveable furniture and writable wallcoverings accommodates multiple modalities and serves as the organizational element for each floor of the classroom wing. Pairs of classrooms share smaller breakout spaces for group and individual instruction. Circulation spaces are multi-functional, offering additional areas for informal learning. Students and teachers can gather on the main stair for presentations and performances that activate the central space. Underneath the stair, student creativity is on display through programmed pinup and teaching space for the art department.

The technology-rich media center overlooks the stair creating a continual dialogue between learning spaces. Wood ceilings complimenting the blue and green color palette warm the space and welcome its young occupants. Outside, a vegetated rooftop classroom with photovoltaic panels provides a hands-on learning experience. 

Main stair
Main stair
Media center
Media center
Collaboration space under the stairs
Collaboration space under the stairs
Collaborative learning commons
Collaborative learning commons
Seating within circulation space
Seating within circulation space