Arrowstreet, in association with William Rawn Associates, has designed a new, mixed-use complex that will include the King Open Elementary School, Cambridge Street Upper School, Dept. of Human Services programs, Valente Branch Public Library, Gold Star Swimming Pool and the Cambridge Public School Department district administration.

As the school designer, Arrowstreet is responsible for the programming, planning, and design of two distinct schools. The King Open Elementary School and Cambridge Street Upper School will house up to 850 K-8 students in approximately 230,000 square feet. The two schools will have separate academic, physical education, and administrative facilities, but will share common spaces such as the cafeteria, Learning Commons, and auditorium.

Arrowstreet led the programming effort which included multiple rounds of discussion with more than 30 faculty, staff, city agency, and community groups, engaging the school user groups to understand each school’s educational goals, space needs, and adjacency requirements. As part of the feasibility study, Arrowstreet investigated alternative approaches to classroom environments and other learning spaces to address the unique pedagogies of the two separate schools. The design will not only meet the needs of the current teaching methods but provide flexibility for the future.

Arrowstreet is working with the City of Cambridge to leverage the entire complex as a fully utilized community resource, allowing for after hours and weekend use of the facilities for both the surrounding neighborhood and the entire Cambridge community. Arrowstreet is also working with the City of Cambridge to develop this building as the pilot project under its recently enacted Net Zero Cambridge plan. The building will also be the first Net Zero Emissions school and largest Net Zero building of any type in Massachusetts.

Project Details


Cambridge, MA


City of Cambridge


Institutional, Mixed Use

Square Footage

250,000 SF


850 Students

Architectural Plans / Process