The project and challenges:
The Ivy Street School is focused on adolescents and young adults ages 13 -21 with brain injuries, autism or behavioral health challenges. The first floor of the old mansion in Brookline serves as the first entry into the school as well as the administrative headquarters; the school library and and gathering and meeting spaces. The construction needed to be carried out while the building was fully functioning. The project needed to work with the design palette and approach on the other floors of the building.
The solutions: These spaces provide the first impression of the school for incoming students and their families.
The atmosphere needed to be welcoming and gracious but also inspire trust and portray the professionalism of an organization with a long and accomplished history. The task at hand was to create alternative spaces to wait for meetings, gather, meet, read and study. Spaces were all visible but with nooks and window seats to provide a quiet spot for individual work.
The design has been embraced by all – staff, teachers and students. It is warm, inviting and light-hearted. The views to the outdoors and natural light are supplemented by alternative light sources with a range of controls for every time of day, year and use.
The renovation was completed late in 2016 in collaboration with Amory Architects.
Photography by Greg Premru