Aleph Bet Jewish Day School

Annapolis, MD

Storm water runoff problems and an aggressive architectural program squeezed into a tight site on a tighter budget couldn’t hinder this project’s success. This private school required a new school building that was both respectful of the 1950s modernist synagogue with which it shares a campus, and a respectful distance from the place of worship. This meant placing the structure on a site at the foot of a steep slope. Studio 343 guided the client through a complicated variance process and supplied imagery and models to support the school’s four years of fundraising. Completed in year five, the 12,400 SF building sits low on its site and uses materials that complement the existing synagogue. A single, double-loaded corridor design allows classrooms to exit onto the playground while offices nestle into the hillside. A rainwater harvesting system transformed the problematic runoff into a habitat that’s part of the science curriculum.