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Brooklyn Heights Montessori

Brooklyn Heights Montessori School (BHMS) intends to increase its enrollment from 208 pupils to 260, and BRB was engaged to develop a master plan to address the needs for physical expansion to accommodate this growth.

Based on meetings with the School’s various constituency groups and development of a future space needs program, BRB explored a number of scenarios for expansion, including vertical expansion of one or both of the School’s existing buildings and acquisition of additional property. Each of the scenarios was compared using several parameters including program usage, adjacencies, zoning constraints and construction cost. After considering the various scenarios, BHMS purchased a disused fire house on an adjacent lot. Several schemes for incorporating the fire house were studied, leading to a master plan that balances the school’s budget with its future space needs.

The planning recommendations include:

—Renovating the first floor of the fire house to support an expanded Middle School program, and the second floor to support an expanded Interdisciplinary Studies program
—Constructing a connecting ‘bridge’ to link the fire house property to the existing school building
—Converting the fire house’s existing courtyard to a glass-roofed atrium to form the heart of the new Middle School
—Constructing a new play deck on the roof of the fire house
—Reprogramming part of the existing building to create an expanded library and technology lab
—Expanding the existing multi-purpose room to provide more space for performances, dining and other large gatherings