Bennett Park Montessori School No. 32

Buffalo, New York

A major building expansion/addition to the original historical school building was designed to accommodate the overwhelming demand for Montessori education in the school district. The original building had space for 540 students. With the new addition and interior reconfiguration, the program now accommodates 980 students. The unique style of Montessori education produced an atypical building program that requires a significant amount of instructional time outside the classroom. Group learning, connected classrooms, labs and early childhood spaces were carefully considered and included in the design. Exterior space, a major part of the educational curriculum, was developed to exploit as much of the modest urban green space as possible.

The new addition is intended to compliment the architectural style of the original school, yet create a clear distinction between the original and the contemporary counterpart. We chose a modern vocabulary, which reflects current trends of construction technology and supports new programmatic needs. The form of the new facility includes cantilevers on both primary facades, deliberately in contrast to the traditional school design.