Magnolia Montessori For All Opens

Earlier this month, Magnolia Montessori For All celebrated its grand opening. A public school located in East Austin, it offers Pre-K-5 students an authentic Montessori education. Members of the Page design team including Shelby Blessing, Jim Brady, Larry Speck and Chad Johnson all attended the celebration.

"This project is a wonderful example of form following function," notes Jim. "It is a student-centered village where Montessori instruction is fully supported and realized in small-scale buildings."

The campus is comprised of 15 residential-scaled buildings situated around landscaped courtyards and immersed in nature. The single-story Administration and adjoining Headquarters buildings form the school’s main entry. A decorative vegetative fence provides a welcoming face to the community and a generous front porch invites informal gathering during pick-up and drop-off. The school is organized around a main circulation path which acts as a Main Street for the Village that gently ramps down throughout the campus.

The youngest children on campus, the Infants and Toddler, peel off the Main Street first. Each group has its own specialized learning environment designed specifically to its unique scale and developmental needs. Back porches open up to a generous tree-filled Infant and Toddler play area.

Each age group has its own cluster of houses within the Village and each cluster is arranged around a dedicated outdoor space. As the children get older, the Courtyard spaces become more open and allow a greater degree of flexibility, freedom and independence. The Children’s House Courtyard is designed for gross motor activity within a protective, enclosed space. A Zen Maze and life-sized checkers board are nestled within the Lower Elementary Courtyard space and a community garden with rainwater collection is the main focus of the Upper Elementary Courtyard. Two activity filled play areas are tucked within the classroom clusters and take advantage of the natural character and slope of the site.