Palm Beach Day Academy
West Palm Beach, FL
HMFH’s conceptual and schematic design for two playful, light-filled new buildings responds specifically to Palm Beach Day Academy’s educational philosophy for its growing PK-4 campus.
- Students 235
- Grades PK-4
- Size 39,500 ft2
Learning takes place both indoors and out at this South Florida school, and the two additions are linked by a shaded plaza, providing an outdoor gathering and activity space for students while framing waterfront views from the school’s main entrance. Each standard classroom also features direct access to its own outdoor learning space. HMFH served as design architects throughout the process, collaborating with local architects of record, Tercilla Courtemanche Architects, as they completed construction documents and administration.
The two-story academic/administrative building replaces a former motel and houses four standard classrooms, as well as science, art, and international studies, a new library, and an administration suite, all anchored by a Learning Commons just outside classroom doors. This soaring, sunlit open space, tailored to the school’s Reggio Emilia learning philosophy, can be transformed for a range of learning and play activities, from formal teacher instruction to self-directed individual learning to small group play. The athletic/fine arts building also transforms: the gymnasium houses the stage, complete with theatrical lighting and a dressing/green room. The stage, with its mirrored back wall, is also utilized for dance instruction. A gallery for student work also serves as a reception area for arts and community functions.