With a fast-growing student population, Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, needed to enhance its shared spaces for students and faculty and the boarding school community at large. The resulting plans for renovations and a new athletic facility provided the perfect opportunity for placemaking on campus.
In 2020, Project for Public Spaces held interviews, multiple workshops, and a pop-up event, gathering ideas from students, school administrators, faculty members, campus staff, and trustees. It was clear that Middlesex had many existing outdoor spaces with the potential for further activation. The campus community agreed they wanted more spaces that shared as much cultural significance as the "Circle," a well-loved lawn area next to the Ware Hall campus center, which plays host to traditional school ceremonies and informal social activity. The sense of community and camaraderie that the "Circle" supports daily was the guiding force behind Middlesex's placemaking process.
Project for Public Spaces helped Middlesex re-imagine its campus, creating tailored place concepts for five outdoor areas. The team recommended a set of activations, along with all-season amenities and a set of strategies to improve connections between indoor and outdoor spaces. The team also recommended updated roadways and pathways between campus spaces to help clarify campus flow post-renovation for the community and visitors alike. The new campus vision, built in tandem with the design team, is driven by the idea of supporting connections, creating stronger links between the people and places that make up Middlesex.
Place Evaluation & User Analysis
Community Engagement & Visioning
Place Concepts & Design