Lyons Mill Elementary School

Reisterstown, MD

Prototype school design
Media center, cafeteria, gymnasium, general classrooms
Shared space for the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks use
LEED Silver Certified & designated a Maryland Green School
Baltimore County Public Schools
Sustainable Design, Interior Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration, Building Information Modeling

Designed in alignment with 21st Century Learning principles, the new Lyons Mill Elementary School focuses on the concepts of collaboration, identity, community, and flexibility.  

A collection of neighborhoods segmented by grade level—each with their own central commons—provides an organizing structure and creates communities of learners and teachers. A consistent dialogue between the inside and out is forged by expanses of glass and ample outdoor space offering multiple channels for learning.


Designed to be the heart of the school, the centrally-located media center offers varying degrees of flexible collaboration spaces. Taking advantage of natural daylighting, the center merges the indoors and outdoors and expands the learning environment “beyond the walls” through an outdoor reading garden. 


Color selections, including interior and exterior finishes, were strategically chosen to provide a sense of identity for students that permeates throughout their learning experience. Each grade level has its own color reflected in the interior finishes (flooring and accent walls) of each wing.

Colored elements on the exterior of the classroom wing (glazed brick & glass) mirror the interior colors. Students are able to identify their grade level from the exterior and follow the path inside to their neighborhood. 

Where spaces are shared, such as the gymnasium, cafeteria, and media center, all colors intermingle to reflect this use.


Located adjacent to the media center, the grand stair commons serves as the central organizing element where all core learning spaces extend from and return to. Shared classroom spaces, including art, science, and an outdoor classroom terrace, occupy the contiguous space, while colored corridors help students easily identify their own circulation path as they travel to their classroom wing. 


Fostering collaboration between students at both a micro and macro scale, the two-story classroom wing represents the school’s main educational space. Each grade level is joined together by their own central commons, providing access to flexible and adaptable space for individualized and group learning—from small clusters to the entire grade level.