Arrowstreet worked with the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School to design a new home for their high-achieving K-8 school, which focuses on classical education, character development, and community engagement. The building’s massing is inspired by a modern interpretation of local pastoral landscapes and traditional agricultural structures, with bold gable-end forms, large punched windows, crisp detailing, and a mix of reflective and naturalistic materials. The result is a harmonious learning environment that promotes student well-being through its connection to nature.

The U-shaped building is organized around a central gathering area, known as the Commons, and features a terraced learning stair. This signature space connects directly with a south-facing courtyard, bringing light and the site’s natural surroundings into the learning environment. Each wing ends with classrooms arranged with wider corridors, creating informal breakout learning spaces. The site provides ample opportunity for educational exploration through outdoor landscaping that enriches the school campus for both students and the community with two playgrounds, a teaching courtyard connected to the Commons, a playing field, and educational gardens.

Innovatively engineered, the building is constructed using a pre-engineered metal structure built as three separate buildings supporting the lower school, upper school, and community spaces. The exterior cladding reflects the school’s approach to classical education using a neutral palette of greys and whites. Warm wood accents on the gabled ends provide a natural contrast and accentuate the school’s rural surroundings.

Project Details

LOCATION

FRANKLIN, MA

CLIENT/OWNER

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION

SQUARE FOOTAGE

76,000 SF

OCCUPANCY

900 STUDENTS

Awards

LEARNING BY DESIGN

OUTSTANDING PROJECT, 2020

Quote

This building affords us the ability to strengthen our academic program, to build hands on experiences into our academic goals and objectives, and to provide after hours programming to support our students and families.”

– Heather Zolnowski, Head of School, Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

Architectural Plans / Process