Belmont Hill School, Melvoin Academic Center
Belmont, MA | 2015
The new Melvoin Academic Center works within the traditions of the Belmont Hill School to evolve the school?s academic program. With the new building, Belmont Hill?s administration sought to increase classroom, office, and collaboration space and to unify the previously fragmented middle school program. While classrooms are based on the school?s commitment to the tradition of the Harkness Table, the Melvoin Academic Building evolves the model of a single, underutilized common room into three distinct, form-adapted ?home rooms.? Distributed throughout the building and connected by welcoming hallways, stairways, and common areas, these home rooms double as flexible event areas and provide teachers with a range of spaces that complement their classrooms.
In order to fully understand the needs of project owners and users, the Shepley Bulfinch team led several two-day workshops during the design process, in which faculty and staff members shared their desires and expectations for the space. As a result of these sessions, the team was able to provide a building uniquely suited to fulfill the needs of the Belmont Hill Lower School, blending modern design concepts with classic traditions in a unified space.