The Park School

Brookline, MA


vertical feet of elevation change and fully accessible


square feet of tree canopy preserved


designated play areas

The Park School provides a curriculum dedicated to the development of “whole selves”—the intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and creative well-being of children—understanding that the educational journey is not just an academic one. This formed the foundation and focus of the project, which aimed to improve the classroom experience for students through the introduction of a new 20,000 square foot addition which is thoughtfully situated on a constrained site. A new landscape and roadway design reassigns the back of the school as a prominent and welcoming entrance for the student community.

DMLA worked collaboratively with The Park School team to clarify the vision, reach consensus, and successfully design a program using sustainable, energy efficient construction methodologies, minimizing waste and reducing consumption of natural resources. A major emphasis was placed on maintaining the existing trees and physical features of the site to enhance the campus character as well as minimize added pavements.

A thoughtful collection of child-friendly plants was selected for their contrasting leafy textures, providing sensory stimulation and seasonal change for novelty and interest. Ample greenery offers quiet enclosures, shade, encourages movement and cues for visual landmarks. The resulting design is perfectly suited for the diverse 560 students, whose ages range from four to fourteen. Playground plantings—including deciduous trees and shrubs, evergreen shrubs, vines, and ground covers—are integrated with equipment to form a distinctive naturalization strategy.

After we tire of wiffle ball, my friends and I would race to the twirly thing. We spin and spin until we can’t stand up anymore, then on to the swing.

Park School Student
01 | 11

Project Team

  • Deborah Myers designed this project as a Senior Associate at Stantec
  • Client: The Park School
  • Architect: NBBJ (formerly Chan Krieger)
  • Civil Engineer: Stantec
  • Landscape Contractor: Marini Corp
  • Photographer: Charles Mayer, Deborah Myers