Landscape Architecture | Planning | Urban Design

Thompson School

Arlington, MA


Nestled near the Mystic River, the former Thompson Elementary School building and site no longer served the needs of a growing community with a commitment to sustainable design and interactive learning. Coupled with a completely new building sited for maximum solar gain, the landscape is seen as a learning surface, replete with outdoor classrooms, vegetable garden beds, and enclosed play areas. Strong orthogonal geometries and 17-foot-long custom outdoor classroom benches set up the backbone of the space and a wealth of native plantings and drought-tolerant lawn serve to visually connect to the residential neighborhood. As a critical part of the application for the Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performance Schools (MA-CHPS) certification, all landscape elements – from materials to water usage to regional bike connectivity – were carefully considered for their impacts on a wholly sustainable design solution.


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