Arrowstreet designed the Alma del Mar Frederick Douglass Campus in New Bedford, MA. The second school for Alma del Mar, this campus serves a diverse group of 600 elementary and middle school students. Located on a wooded site with an MBTA commuter rail to the West and a 30′ slope from end-to-end, the school is designed to accommodate these unique conditions with an effective programmatic layout while also creating an interesting space that accentuates the campus’ natural site. The gym and cafeteria are located on the west side, nearest the tracks, which blocks any unwanted commuter rail noise from the more critical classroom spaces. The exterior design incorporates natural materials which allows the building to coexist harmoniously within its natural environment.

Arrowstreet’s Graphic Design Studio has also been engaged in the project to develop the school’s signage, wayfinding, and to create environmental graphics that will cost-effectively enliven the interior spaces of the school while also educating students on the campus’ namesake, Frederick Douglass.

“Frederick Douglass fought for the opportunity to learn to read and write at a time when educating Black people was against the law,” said Lee Blake, president of the New Bedford Historical Society in the Alma press release. “His struggle for freedom and social justice will be an inspiration to our youth who will lead the change the world needs to tackle injustice.”