HMFH Architects

Arlington High School
Phase One Opens

This building realizes an educational and community vision that was over 8 years in the making. We are excited to take the next step to bringing the educational vision to life in this amazing space.

Matthew Janger Principal, Arlington High School

Comprised of a new STEAM wing, Performing Arts wing, and auditorium—which is scheduled to open later this spring—the spaces included in Phase One offer state-of-the-art facilities to support AHS students in their academic explorations.

The Phase One spaces that are now open to students include:


Main Entrance & Lobby

Located directly off Mass Ave, the main entrance of the new Arlington High School welcomes students and community members into an expansive atrium that links the new Performing Arts and STEAM wings. The lofty, light-filled space features unique architectural forms that highlight spaces such as the Discourse Lab and showcases a multi-story supergraphic along the curved wall of the auditorium, which pays homage to the previous high school with a detailed drawing of its elevation.

Upon completion of Phase Two, the lobby will become the entry point for the school’s central spine, which serves as the school’s main public and circulation space, connecting the Mass Ave entrance with a second entrance on the opposite end of the site. Bold signage reinforces the identity of each wing and serves as a means of wayfinding for students and visitors.


Flexible Classrooms

The STEAM wing is home to science, art and academic classrooms as well as specialty makerspaces including a digital art studio, CADD lab, and woodshop. Classrooms are equipped with integrated infrastructure and technology and modern, flexible furniture that enables each space to adapt to various programmatic needs. Teacher planning rooms between classrooms provide ease of access and appropriate supervision.

Built in cabinetry provides ample storage and is clad in a whiteboard material that can be used by students and teachers for brainstorming, note-taking or problem-solving. Floor to ceiling windows reveal impressive views of Arlington, which strengthens the students’ connection to the natural environment.


Multi-story Lightwells

A four-story lightwell draws natural light into the core of the new STEAM wing while offering collaborative workspace, seating and counterspace for students to study, socialize, and engage in hands-on project work. Interior windows line the lightwell to establish visual connections between floors, provide views into the gallery/presentation space below, and distribute light deep within the building footprint.


Performing Arts

The new Performing Arts wing is comprised of classrooms and practice rooms for Drama, Chorus, Band, and Performing Arts. The drama classroom provides a flexible space to be used by all arts programs for one-act plays, theater classes, and set production. Classrooms for Chorus and Band, as well as a Music Production Lab, offer ample space for these thriving programs and feature geometric acoustic tiles on the ceiling that provide excellent sound quality. The Music Production Lab will also serve as a control room for recording productions in the theater and gym.

A vibrant wall graphic located between the auditorium and band classroom uses bold colors and an illustrative style to capture the spirit of the Arlington High School Performing Arts programs.



Discourse Lab

Overlooking the lobby, the Discourse Lab is a 120-seat lecture classroom that can be used for shared teaching, small group programs, and large group debates and dialogue. This innovative new space will serve as an interdepartmental resource throughout AHS to foster scholarly discourse, interaction, and collaboration. It will not only become a resource for students and faculty, but for surrounding community members as well.

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2023, Phase Two will include the school’s central spine, cafeteria, forum stair, media center, Humanities wing, courtyard, preschool and more. Follow along on the AHS building project website for frequent construction updates!