Fielding Nair International [FNI] Hillel Day School

As education shifts from being teacher-directed to student-centered, a PK-8 Jewish Day School sought to transform their school facility to align with their 21st century educational goals. Originally built in 1970, a major challenge of their facility was a fragmented plan that isolated classrooms into wings with long circulation routes.

Three “big” ideas were envisioned to unite the building and make it conducive for 21st century learning: 1) creating a Mercaz—a central space for bringing the entire school together; 2) creating an Innovation Hub that would serve as a catalyst for project-based learning; and 3) organizing classrooms around Learning Communities.

The Mercaz uses scale and pattern to create multiple zones for learning, socializing, and gathering. The Innovation Hub features a “raw” and “industrial” aesthetic that encourages students to get messy and learn by using their hands. And, the Learning Communities have a variety of flexible spaces that makes learning fluid.