Studio MDA

Trenton School

Trenton Elementary School

Elementary School, New Jersey, 2004

New Jersey | 2004

The new edifice, next to the Historic Carrol Robbin’s High School, is situated in a patterned landscape. The landscape also serves the school’s adult constituency as a public plaza and park - to form a lobby sequence that retains the character of informal public space.

The architecture corresponds to the school’s pedagogical commitment to creating a multi-generational school: pre-k is placed within an organic playful landscape (PLAYSCAPE) while the new main building will extract the natural lines of the landscape. The lines shape and translate into a structured environment (LEARNSCAPE).

The roof and facade are purposively designed to reflect the children’s change in age and perception of scale and space. Younger children will have their classes located at the bottom of the building where the skin grid is denser and smaller. As they grow up they move year by year to the higher floors with the grid adjusting (growing) with them.The transition occurs gradually, in a linear continuous sequence, avoiding stereotypical and hierarchical structures. The architectural matrix endeavors to inspire, challenge, and provide a flexible learning platform.