Project Description

24,323 SF of existing office space is converted into a new Montessori School


This large tenant space in an existing office complex in Bellevue was previously used as office space, but seemed perfect for converting into a new school for the Living Montessori Academy. The existing two story building is built into the hillside, so much of the second level that the new school will occupy looks out to lush green trees and landscaping in this suburban office park.

Since our client had the goal of opening the school in September, we knew we needed to design the project on an aggressively tight schedule and push the project through the permitting process. We finished the majority of the design and submitted for permits in less than six weeks.

The project incorporates a number of green features, including green materials like zero VOC paints, Biobased floor tile and linoleum sheet flooring. Light and occupancy sensors turn off lights when there is enough exterior daylight. Organic foods will be grown in the playground (and be part of the children’s curriculum to learn how to grow their own food).

Project Info & Tips

  • This project required structural upgrades to the existing building because a school use of this size is classified as a more ‘risky’ category than office use. Careful analysis with a good structural engineer is essential for completing a project like this. We were able to complete all the retrofitting without entering the space below
  • A commercial kitchen will typically require the assistance of a kitchen consultant, particularly in specifying the appropriate kitchen equipment
  • We chose a more soothing and calming color palette, using more muted colors rather than primary colors
  • Permitting a project like this is a complex process. A school use was not permitted outright in this area, so we permitted the space as a day care, then converted it to a school (which required a more lengthy review process). That allowed construction to start much sooner
  • Level of Design Services: Full Services
  • How do I Estimate Construction Cost and Design Fees?
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