Before summer vacation commenced, Finegold Alexander and Raj Das Photography visited to the Eliot Innovation School at 585 Commercial Street to capture the space in use. Opened in 2018, the school is part of a three-building campus in Boston’s North End for grades Pre-K to 8. As no site was able to accommodate the needs of the growing student population, it was determined that the school would be spread across three different facilities. Serving students grades 5-8, the 585 Commercial Street project involved the adaptive reuse and renovation of a former office building and includes: 18 classrooms, a media center, a robotics/technology lab, art studio, and a multi-purpose space that accommodates the My Way Café school meals program.
A prominent feature of the school design are the classroom learning nooks. The spaces offer a versatile environment for large-to-small group instruction. With daylight-emitting-windows and wall and floor paint colors carefully chosen to create a sense of calmness and solitude, the nooks offer a more private classroom supplied with an interactive white-board wall for instruction.
Additionally, another feature of the school are the specialty classrooms for art and technology, designed with the understanding of the different teaching subjects when comparing the younger fifth grade students as compared to the older eighth grade students, and their relative curriculum. With two different age groups using the same space, the classroom required flexibility and adaptability that would create a safe site environment that is stimulating, inclusive and accessible for all of its users.
Thank you to Raj Das Photography for capturing the magic of education and the life inside this Finegold Alexander project.