Montessori Primary is a complete renovation of an outdated suburban office building into a 9-classroom school building that augments the facilities at the Fayetteville Montessori School in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The renovation was completed in 11 months (design through construction) for $118 per square foot project cost, and utilizes the original structure of the building, including the rhythm of the storefronts along the south and west walls, which now provide large banks of glass into each classroom.
Angled walls, conceived of as a carapace, drop in front of the windows to provide shade and visual separation from the street. An addition on the north side of the building, unseen from the exterior entry of the building, intersects the existing building at the reception area and conference room. The insertion creates a dynamic, acute corner as the corridor extends to three additional classrooms and frames two courtyards, used for outdoor play, between the old and the new.
The renovated building's material palette is an extension of the campus – dark bronze, box rib metal wall panels and cypress siding – tying Montessori Primary back to Montessori Elementary, completed in 2012.