The vision for the new 142,000-sf West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School was to create a secondary school with a collegiate feel. To achieve this, Flansburgh created two distinct academies for grades 7-8, located on the first floor, and 9-12, located on the second. Academies share facilities and community space, creating a campus feel.
The gymnasium, cafeteria, and auditorium are organized along a spacious corridor, or commons, which serves as a reception area for the auditorium and provides ample space for holding community events. The hub of the commons is a section of tiered group seating that connects the cafeteria on the first floor to the cyber café and media center above. These steps provide an informal gathering space where students can socialize, hold study sessions, and host group and club meetings.
A two-story STEAM commons includes breakout spaces that encourage collaborative learning across STEAM disciplines. Open common areas on the 7-8 grade floor create learning hubs that support team teaching and promote student interaction. Open areas on the 9-12 floor support individualized learning and small group seminars.
The school is part of a greater campus comprising the new middle/senior high school, an existing elementary school and athletic fields. The massing of the school responds to the surrounding context with the larger civic functions facing West Center Street to the south and the smaller academic houses facing the quiet residential neighborhood to the east. The building is set back from West Center Street and features green space and athletic fields that provide visual relief along the busy main street.
The design is organized by an internal main street that connects the two main entries. The shared common spaces (administration, gymnasium, cafeteria, and auditorium) are accessed from this connector. The academic wings are clustered around a central courtyard with a clear loop corridor internally linking the wings together.
Connection To Outdoors
Large spans of glass between the various wings connect students and faculty to the interior courtyard and exterior surroundings. Informal gathering spaces located within the links have direct access to the courtyard.
The community wing consisting of the gymnasium, cafeteria, and auditorium is organized along a main street, an internal circulation spline offering various gathering opportunities. The tiered group seating, which connects the cafeteria on the first floor to the cyber cafe and media center above, serves as a large group meeting space. This sequence of spaces are a hub of social interaction at the school.
The academic houses are comprised of classroom clusters that share a common ‘team room’ promoting both independent and collaborative learning, a departure from traditional classrooms off a corridor that allows for a more integrated learning experience. A dedicated STEAM academy provides spaces for science, math, robotics, arts, and video production.
Shared spaces are organized along an internal main street and include the administration and guidance offices at the main entry, the gymnasium, cafeteria and auditorium.
Honors and Awards
American School & University 2016 Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Designs: Combined-Level School
BSA 2016 Educational Facilities Design Award: K-12 Facilities
|Type||New Grade 7-12 Facility|
|Client||West Bridgewater Public Schools|
|Size||141,000 square feet|
|Architectural Team||Kent Kovacs, Principal-in-Charge; Jay Williams, Project Manager; Michael Cimorelli, Project Designer|
|Consultants||Structural Engineer: Boston Building Consultants; MEP Engineer: GGD; Civil Engineer: Nitsch Engineering; Cost Estimator: PM&C; Landscaper: Waterman Design; Equipment: Tavares Design; Technology: Edvance|
|Photographer||Robert Benson Photography|