Chiaravalle Montessori School
How can we create a new "heart" of Chiaravalle that embodies Montessori principles?
Chiaravalle Montessori School is an infant through 8th grade learning community rooted in cultivating an individual child's learning journey in a diverse, community-centered context. As Chiaravalle looks to its next 50 years, TheThirdTeacher+ team and Cannon Design explored how Montessori philosophy could be expressed in shared spaces. With a historic Burnham building and a semi-public park site, this project had significant relevance to Evanston as well. This addition and renovation of the north wing –– containing physical, arts, dining, and community spaces – provided the opportunity to reinvent Chiaravalle's core and entry experiences.
Through our community-centered process, we integrated design conversations into the cultural, pedagogical, and strategic goals of Chiaravalle. The Discovery phase revealed deeply held values and aspirations of the Chiaravalle community. The hands-on Activation phase transformed principles into design drivers. Through the Design phase, we explored aspects of community partnership, cross-generational flow, and the cultural changes at the core of the project.
VISIONING + PROGRAMMING • USER RESEARCH • COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS • ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN • PRESERVATION
Observation: of all ages and shared spaces
Group interviews: with students, teachers, parents, administration, and board members
- Workshops: with kindergarten/elementary/middle school students, teachers, family, and sustainability
- Survey: with family, administration, and teachers
Discovery & Activation
Programming & Design
Photos from Chiaravalle Montessori School
Created in collaboration with TheThirdTeacher+ and Cannon Design. Teammates included Lori Day, Teri Wright, Geoffrey Walters, Sarah Malin, Emi Day, and Trung Le.