The cafeteria opens onto a piazza-like courtyard fronting the football field that is a popular hangout area for students.
As part of the culinary arts program, a student run public cafe is located adjacent to the main entrance.
The luminous glass lobby acts as one of the two front doors to the school.
The school is connected by a single ‘’main street’’ corridor, which bends, narrows and widens through the building.
The library is spacious and rich with technology. Flexible furniture encourages students to rearrange spaces to serve group and individual needs.
Natural light is provided in all classrooms, which has been linked to improved student performance.
The auxiliary gymnasium includes a climbing wall.
The regulation indoor swimming pool is available for community use after school hours.
Athletic facilities include a weight and fitness center.
Audo body shop is part of Newton North vocational technical program.
As part of the culinary arts program, a student run public cafe is located adjacent to the main entrance.
The new building occupies the same site as the original building. Athletic fields are now oriented north-south, providing optimal playing conditions.
Ground level plan
Second level plan
Third level plan
Fourth level plan
Newton North High School
Newton, Massachusetts
Site conditions were the primary driver of building form in this new 1850-student high school. Located in a fine-grained residential neighborhood, the building organization is ordered around a series of courtyards, which are set back from the street to create a sense of enclosure and engagement.

Three major volumes containing athletics, the academic core and the theatre, are linked by a luminous glass lobby that acts as one of two front doors into the school. A separate main entrance is located within the theatre volume, allowing for community access after-hours. Programmatically, the new school is predicated on a Main Street plan organization. Taking cues from the existing school, Main Street is enlarged and expanded, traveling both inside and outside in a visually unbroken line. Within the academic wing, a serpentine-shaped plan with double-loaded corridors brings natural light into every classroom and creates animated vistas across the site. The academic core is the largest volume within the entire assemblage of building forms. Major program areas are articulated with glass and metal accents against a palette of variegated brick. Discrete entry markers are rendered in glass and metal.

Newton North High School is one of the largest schools in Massachusetts, with comprehensive vocational technology training programs, indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, and performing arts theaters. The athletic, recreational and performing arts facilities serve as community resources and are available for public use outside of regular school hours.

Reflecting current trends in learning space design, all classrooms and laboratories are equipped with interactive smart boards and presentation tools. The library is an open, dynamic learning commons with public computers, flexible, laptop friendly furniture, and an innovation center dedicated to increasing media literacy and encouraging student directed exploration.

The new high school occupies the same site as the previous high school. During construction, the existing school remained operational. Prior to this project, the athletic fields were oriented east-west, which forced some players to face the direct sunlight. Early in the site plan development, the athletic fields were rotated 90 degrees to provide optimal playing conditions.

Supporting the City of Newton’s long term goals, the new school is LEED Gold certified and incorporates green design features that reduce energy usage and provide healthy learning environments. A high efficiency HVAC system, photovoltaic systems, rainwater harvesting, improved building envelope, daylighting and “smart” electrical fixtures contribute to energy and cost savings. Indoor environmental quality is promoted with low emitting adhesives, paints and carpet systems, indoor chemical and pollutant source control, and controllability of lighting and thermal comfort systems.




413,000 SF


Boston Society of Architects, Honor Award for Design Excellence


Chuck Choi