Project information

  • New construction 67,000 sf; addition to existing 17,000-sf building

  • Grades pre-K-4, 500 students

  • Completed 2009

Rockport, ME


The lobby was designed around this FishES mobile, a project led by the Youth Arts organization in Camden. Every student in the school made a fish that swims overhead as you enter the building.

Camden and Rockport are historic seafaring towns with wonderful nineteenth-century architecture. The exterior of the school honors local white-trimmed architecture with a traditional brick base and the colors of a sea captain's house.

The art room is designed around the two most common requirements from art teachers: north light and storage.

Asked to fit the school into a very tight, steep site surrounded by woods, wetlands, and farmers’ fields, PDT developed a vertical parti that celebrates views and vertical movement.

This flexible space combines cafeteria, kitchen, and stage functions. The back of the stage opens to the gym, so the school can host multiple events at once.

A two-story library captures daylight and can be viewed from multiple angles from surrounding spaces.

Camden-Rockport's elementary school addition/renovation combines three school populations on a very tight site. In order to save as much green space as possible for playfields, the plan required three stories arranged around dramatic public spaces--lobby, library, and gymnasium/cafeteria.

The school has a high-performance envelope with extra roof and wall insulation, a heat recovery system, radiant floors, CO2 monitors and a geothermal system for heating and cooling. Interior finishes include low-VOC paints, recyclable carpeting, linoleum, and biocomposite materials. Views to the woods and fields maintain a constant reference to the natural world, which is also the basis for the color palette and interior design.

Daylight harvesting was an organizing design principle: classroom teaching bays have clerestory windows over the whiteboards, and public spaces are illuminated by high windows and skylights.

Photo credit: © Sandy Agrafiotis

Select K-12 elementary school projects