Gateway Montessori School
This new building for the Gateway Montessori School is our third collaboration with the founder. In 2005 we worked with Shelley to help her establish her school by transforming part of a storefront building on Chicago’s north side with classrooms, office, bathrooms and kitchen. Two years later the school had outgrown its space and we helped her expand in to the rest of the building’s first floor. In 2014, Shelley called again to help her find a new home that would accommodate further growth. After producing feasibility studies for two possible buildings where she would rent, Shelley decided it was time for Gateway to have a permanent home and she found a vacant lot near her current location. We designed her new school to embody the Montessori approach to education. Five classrooms cluster around a central, clerestory-lit central gathering space full of books and light.