North Bennet Street School

Kennedy Violich Architecture, 2013

Preservation Achievement Award, 2007 (Preservation Carpentry Program)

The North Bennet Street School is an internationally recognized private vocational school for the advancement of traditional hand craft and industrial arts. After operating for 130 years at 39 North Bennet St. near the Old North Church, the School took possession of two abandoned municipal buildings here to gather its workshops, studios and administration under one roof.

The architects inserted a new structure between the existing buildings that connects them with a grand stair and new elevator. Upstairs, a two-story open space overlooks the city skyline and provides a light-filled venue for concerts, gatherings and exhibitions. At street level, a new public entry area provides flexible gallery space and a small retail space featuring student works.

Classrooms and exhibition spaces are integrated with specialized teaching studios and workshops for bookbinding, fine carpentry, preservation carpentry, cabinet & furniture making, jewelry making and repair, locksmithing, piano technology, and violin making and repair. Leasable Tech Shop facilities provide space for urban craft production and small-scale manufacturing.

Source and images: Kennedy & Violich Architecture