Cambridge, MA – HMFH Architects received the grand prize in Learning By Design Magazine’s spring 2021 Educational Design Awards Showcase for the firm’s Saugus Middle High School.
HMFH’s design was recognized as a “next generation benchmark” in contemporary learning space design and planning. The Learning By Design competition is peer-reviewed, scored, and juried, and all projects must meet or exceed six scored criteria innovation, community needs, interior design, sustainability, functional design, and 21st Century learning.
For the Saugus Middle High School, the 2021 jury cited the school’s new concepts to improve education, community wellbeing, and social equity and how the design establishes a welcoming, motivating experience for students.
The 269,000sf school is comprised of three distinct sections a four-story high school wing, a three-story middle school wing, and a central connecting core with shared community spaces. Built on the former high school’s 22-acre site, the new school integrates middle and high school grades around a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) program supported by fabrication labs, a 750-seat auditorium, project-based collaboration spaces, movable walls, outdoor classrooms, art studios, and multiple opportunities for hands-on learning. Furniture and equipment throughout the building was carefully selected for flexibility and can be rearranged quickly in response to specific project or teaching needs.
The school celebrates Saugus’ history and culture with graphic exhibits honoring the town’s landmarks, industries, and people. In the high school wing, a four-story mural illustrates the town’s role in the iron industry, a chapter exemplified by the nearby 17th Century Saugus Iron Works.