Project Detail

Auburn High School

New Grade 9-12 Facility | Auburn, MA

This award-winning 175,000-sf high school for 800 students was designed to take full advantage of natural daylight. The bright atrium, naturally lit with continuous clerestory and circular skylights, is bounded by a sweeping arc of classrooms and open to the dining commons. It has become the central meeting place for students and teachers. The exterior uses an innovative terra cotta rain-screen cladding system with aluminum sun shades to control daylight into the classrooms.

The new Auburn High School is located adjacent to athletic fields, a 200-foot environmental buffer, and a noisy interstate highway. Beyond these physical challenges, the school community possessed a strong desire to transform an academic culture already fractured by a poorly planned existing high school into one with strong community focus.

The architectural solution arranges large core functions, including the gymnasium and auditorium, in a rectilinear bar running parallel to the interstate highway. Shielded from the roadway by this buffer, the classrooms are arrayed in a broad arc overlooking the play fields. An intriguing, light-filled, three-story atrium emerges amidst the arc and bar. This dynamic space is a multi-level, singular meeting and circulation area that connects all spaces physically and visually within the building. It embodies the strong sense of community at Auburn High School.

Honors and Awards

Design Excellence - Boston Society of Architects 2007
Citation - AASA/AIA/CEFPI 2007


Time Span 2004–2006
Type Public High School
Client Town of Auburn and MSBA
Size 175,000 sf
Cost $33.4 million
Design Team Duncan McClelland, Principal; Jorge Cruz, Project Manager; Bill Beatrice, Project Architect; Kent Kovacs, Project Designer
Consultants Structural Engineer: Boston Building Consultants; MEP Engineer: TMP Engineering; Civil Engineer: Judith Nitsch Engineering, Inc; Furiture and Equipment: Tavares Design Associates
General Contractor Fontaine Brothers, Inc.

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