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Creative Minds International

Altro aides in acoustics and comfort in historic school

Altro Orchestra, Altro Wood Comfort



Creative Minds International (CMI) is an inclusive early childhood, elementary and middle school with an arts and project-based curriculum. Located in the historic Sherman Building on the Armed Forces Retirement Home campus, the school expanded into the unoccupied south wing to serve its growing student body.

Newman Architects worked with teachers, staff, students, and community members to understand CMI’s authentic context and the project needs. The targeted renovation of the 6,000 sq ft space included three new classrooms, an activated common area, and other support spaces. The interior finishes were designed to make the existing and new parts of the building read as a consistent and welcoming whole.

When selecting flooring for the renovation, Newman Architects wanted to prioritize material that offered resilience and flexibility while providing a home-like feel that remained applicable to the historic context. As 25% of their student body included those with extra needs, underfoot comfort and acoustics were of particular importance in their material selection. Newman Architects ultimately chose Altro Orchestra and Altro Wood Comfort to create a comfortable learning environment that would consider the needs of their whole student population.

As the Sherman Building is on the National Register of Historic Places, no permanent changes could be made. This created some nteresting design challenges and led the design team to collaborate with Altro to find an ideal flooring solution capable of meeting the space’s unique requirements.

Working with the Altro sales and technical representatives, Newman Architects decided to move forward Altro Orchestra and Altro Wood Comfort as these cushioned-back, sheet vinyl flooring products met the visual, acoustical, and functional performance required for the space. 

In addition to these performance attributes, Newman Architects liked the ability to create distinctive patterns and designs which they used for wayfinding, creating points of focus, and denoting clear space for egress in some of the mixed-used hallways. This was particularly useful in turning larger rooms into smaller separate spaces, and the faculty loved this feature.

Altro Orchestra and Altro Wood Comfort’s combination of aesthetic appeal, underfoot comfort, and acoustical performance aligned perfectly with the vision behind the project renovation. Equipped with a lasting flooring solution, Creative Minds International can continue its mission of academic excellence.

Download the Creative Minds International PDF
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