Connecticut Montessori School Architects and Designers | Montessori School Building Designers

The Montessori Magnet School at the Learning Corridor in Hartford, Ct, was the first newly constructed, publically funded Montessori School in the State of Connecticut. Opened in 1999, this school remains a model for creating a physical environment that supports the principles of Montessori learning. Smith Edwards McCoy was recognized for its Montessori School Building Design excellence by the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association, and its Executive Director, David Kahn, who continues to refer to this school as a special Montessori facility.

Our involvement in every facet of the Montessori School Architectural Design process – from reading about Maria Montessori and her educational philosophy, to interacting with Montessori educators in the development of the building program, to testing design concepts, developing the design and construction documents, selecting the furnishing and interior finishes, overseeing the construction, completing the build-out and occupancy, and, in particular, repeated visits to the school to observe its operation – proved to be one of the most satisfying and enlightening projects undertaken by Smith Edwards McCoy.

One very special Montessori teacher spoke of Maria Montessori’s description of a school as “casa dei bambini”: places of learning that were as intimate and inviting as a home. There was discussion of the lessons to be learned from the “practical life”, and the importance of learning from peers and elders.

The challenge was to create such a place in an urban environment. The design solution was to create a series of linked, house-like structures arced around an enclosed courtyard or large outdoor classroom. Each two story house contained two classrooms that opened directly to the courtyard. The houses were linked on the opposite side by a generous corridor that connected to group spaces such as a learning center, gymnasium, performance and art spaces. Each classroom contained a small kitchen for limited food preparation and outdoor planting for the growing of flowers and vegetables. Lunch and snacks were had “family style” in the classrooms.

In addition to capturing design awards, this school remains a firm favorite.