The Blackstone is one of Boston’s lowest performing schools. Like many U.S. schools designed in the 1960s, the facility is introverted and monolithic, disconnecting students from learning opportunities in the urban environment. Our challenge is to re-imagine an urban school model that addresses the educational needs of 2013 and beyond.
Kurani conducted interviews, archival research, and performance analysis to understand why Blackstone was struggling. To respond to this complex problem we turned to proven case studies, sought stakeholder input, and consulted our team of education experts. Students, teachers, and local community members were engaged in the co-creation and critique of design strategies.
The new design positions Blackstone as a stronger, positive presence in Boston’s South End. The school now connects with local learning opportunities. Blackstone has transformed into an urban campus — rich with spaces of collaboration and exchange, partner schools, mobility, and stronger civic ties. This project unveils the potential of integrating school and neighborhood development.