Project information

  • New construction on a pre-developed site 97,000 sf

  • Grades 3-5, 600 students

  • Completed 2011

  • LEED for Schools Certified

Brunswick, ME


Residential-scale details on the Spring Street side reflect the walkable neighborhood. The cast relief by the entry was saved from the old high school that used to occupy the site.

The front entry through the bus shelter, off the bus drive.  

The back entry from the parking lot, showing the oculus blazing at night.

Welcoming benches are among the many design cues that alert students to their own “house.”

Each end of the school is open for community use after school hours by recreation and community services.

The library contains a built-in story and presentation area, a small classroom, and a variety of seating.

Each section of this linear school is an articulated segment, with its own expression inside and outside.

Perimeter benches and diversity of seating in the cafeteria break down the large room, as do views to the front playground and street.

North light in the art room is supplied by high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School is located in an older residential neighborhood where many students can walk to school. At 13 acres, the site is modest and long, which resulted in a "linear village" of 5 connected sections, each with a distinctive spatial "break" and orientation to the street. Each of the five sections has a distinct use, yet harmonizes with the whole through shared material and color combinations. The building runs from east to west, so all classrooms and major spaces receive natural daylighting from either north or south, and views to the neighborhood are emphasized.

The entire school is heated and air conditioned by a closed-loop geothermal system with an expected 8-year payback.

Particular attention was paid to the design of the classrooms, where every room has access to a shared tutorial small group room. Classroom storage was maximized with tall shelving units, counters, and locked cabinet wardrobes. Architectural elements from the old Art Deco high school that had stood on the site were salvaged and reused in the new building.

Photo credit: © Sandy Agrafiotis

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