Field School, designed by Boston-based architect Jonathan Levi, opens new facility
Faced with a crumbling school building that was falling apart, The Field School, a highly regarded intermediate school in Weston, Massachusetts known for its progressive curriculum tapped Boston-based Jonathan Levi Architect to design a replacement facility and a new arboretum park. The project presented the opportunity to go beyond designing the single structure and to re-conceive the school’s campus including its interconnections and recreational amenities.
The new 350-student, 72,000 sq ft school shares a campus with two other schools, a public library, community center, town farm and the school district’s administrative offices. Designed with 21st century learning in mind, the school features flexible classrooms, a central commons, and outdoor learning spaces. To create better connectedness between the school and the two neighbouring feeder schools, Levi set the building back on the site to eliminate any physical barriers between the three schools and designed a continuous covered passage that links and fosters community among them.
Two parallel classroom wings are connected to a headpiece that houses the school’s core programs, including a gymnasium, information commons, administration, arts and music. The gymnasium and cafeteria are connected by a large monumental operable wall that can be opened up to accommodate large gatherings of 1000 people.
The project incorporates many sustainable design elements including large overhangs and light shelves that filter and direct natural daylight to the learning spaces, to achieve 100% daylighting. A high performance mechanical system and a ventilated rain screen facade of randomly jointed masonry mixed with pre-fabricated ironwood cladding panels improve indoor air quality and reduce operating costs.