We are pleased to announce that the town of Belmont, Massachusetts’ Roger E. Wellington School, designed by Jonathan Levi Architects with Associate Architect, Stantec Architecture, was awarded the Harleston Parker Medal given by the BSA, Boston Society of Architects, and the city of Boston to “the single most beautiful” building or structure built in the metropolitan Boston area in the past 10 years. The school also received one of three Honor Awards for Design Excellence and the sole K-12 Facilities Design Honor Award at the recent 2013 BSA Design Awards Gala.
In harmony with the tall oak trees that line the suburban street, the school facade utilizes brick and wood artfully juxtaposed in a shifting grid pattern and relief that revives these classic materials in contemporary form at a size of 101,000 sf. Vertical beams spanning 1-3 stories shade windows in the high ceiling, second floor classrooms, library and atrium drawing in an abundance of natural light. In order to reduce the perceived size of the school for 680 students, the building is organized into two ‘schools within a school’ connected by a one story core. Common spaces are shared such as the gymnasium, cafeteria, and the administration offices.
Photography involved a 1 day shoot of the classrooms in 2011 with several children and adults as models, and a 3 day shoot in 2012. Hailing from Boston, David sensed the need to arrive earlier than expected for the second shoot, landing just as the skies opened after a heavy shower and literally closing the trunk of his SUV at the end of the third day just as another storm set in. 35 images were achieved, 20 of which were delivered within the week to make an AIA awards submission.