Berendo Montessori Shir-Hashirim
Los Angeles, California

Adaptive reuse of The Franklin T. Briles two-story residence and caretaker structure for new early education Montessori program for 40 students with a working garden, art room, kitchen skills, and other living skills. Built in 1921, the building is a true showpiece. The stucco structure is an architectural example of Mediterranean Revival with Prairie style influence.

The new use was intended to create a Montessori program in a home-like environment for 35-50 children. The final outcome resulted in a program for 48 children, with the main classroom located in the ground floor of the residence, a second classroom located in what was the chauffer’s quarters, and accessory office spaces located on the second floor. In order to gain some extra classroom space, a covered side porch on the North side was sensitively enclosed with fixed windows to match the original design. A new access ramp and accessible door were added to the south side of the building to satisfy the Disabled Access code requirements. Two new children’s restrooms were added as required, and an existing restroom was modified to meet ADA. Kitchen counters and cabinets were replaced to accommodate for the children. In addition, the project has over 3,800 square feet of play area and over 3,000 square feet of landscape.