Martin Trust Partnership in Education for Early Learners

CBT was engaged by a private philanthropist to build a learning center that will supplement the rapidly growing need for early education programs in the Town of Brookline. The facility houses a non-profit preschool program that offers an inclusive educational experience which supports each child’s individual needs and abilities, and fosters a mission to support the education of minority and underserved children in the community. 

The new facility is approximately 20,000 square feet in size and accommodates children 2 years 9 months through 5 years of age. The building is organized vertically on 5 levels to offer a layout that meets the programmatic needs of the education center by providing community space on the first level, educational spaces on levels 2 and 3, creative play zones on level 4, and administrative spaces on the fifth level. A learning kitchen, maker space, library, sensory gym and therapy rooms support a variety of educational experiences while accommodating children with a wide range of abilities. Due to the size of the approximately 9,000 square foot site, the building has a compact footprint, and the first floor is further minimized to accommodate a loop drive around the building for a parent drop-off and pick-up zone. The tight lot size presented an interesting opportunity to create an elevated playground on a large roof terrace on the 4th floor, providing children expansive views of their community while removed from the noisy street below. This terrace will be used year-round, protected from inclement weather by the overhanging fifth floor above. 

Close relationships between school, home, and the community are essential elements in a quality early childhood program. This facility connects to the surrounding neighborhood and will foster these important relationships with a ground level community outreach center that provides families with guidance and educational resources. Located in a very dense part of the town, with close proximities to urban centers and public transportation, the site was selected to promote ease of accessibility to the community.

CBT provided full design services and was engaged in a public approval process with the Town, meeting with Town boards, the Brookline School Committee, and members of the abutting neighborhood to reach consensus on a design that will benefit both the Town and families in need.

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