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Brookside Lower School at Cranbrook

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

In an effort to expand enrollment from 350 to 500 students, the Cranbrook Educational Community called for an addition and renovation of its day school for kindergarten through sixth grade students. Inspired by the Arts & Crafts origins of the original campus, the 20,000 square foot addition maintains the picturesque character of the existing school. Integral to the architecture was an extensive landscape design, organized along new and existing walkways. The interaction of building mass and new landscape created three new courtyards, each distinct in scale and the degree of enclosure, and a new automobile entrance and drop off. The overall massing articulates Brookside's tripartite program of science, music, and early childhood development.


The $6.5 million facility includes eight new classrooms, two science laboratories, separate music practice and performance spaces, and offices. The addition upholds the social vision of Cranbrook’s founders emphasizing the innovative integration of handicraft and contemporary means of production. Taking the tectonic precedents of the entire Cranbrook campus into account, modern materials are used in delicate and tactile ways to integrate the addition into the rhythms and material palette of the existing Brookside buildings.

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