NEW OMR Architects Logo
bridge street school

The Bridge Street School project in Northampton, MA, is a unique consolidation of two schools on a small two-acre site. It involves a complete gutting, renovation, and major addition to a 1920’s three-story brick building. The addition doubles the capacity and size of both the original building and the parking area, while improving play areas and preserving the residential scale of the surrounding neighborhood. Open space is conserved on the site by stacking the gym and cafetorium, and by strategically placing the addition so that it safely separates play and parking areas.

The addition’s low profile and shallow roof help minimize its impact on the area. Roof monitors capture and redirect glare-free daylight into the gym interior. New classrooms and administration spaces face south off single-loaded corridors that are connected and illuminated by a light well. The partially recessed lower level classrooms have projecting skylit bays; these bays screen out distracting views of the adjacent playground while letting in natural daylight.

The school’s quietest space, the library, overlooks a park. In the basement, unusable spaces were reclaimed to create two new Kindergarten classrooms with glass-enclosed bays that look out onto a new recessed play terrace. The school’s organization is efficient, intuitively clear, and welcoming. The administration area and elevator are centrally located for easy control and barrier-free access throughout the building. The gym and cafeteria/auditorium, next to parking, can be isolated for after-school community use.