Clay Center at Dexter School-Southfield School

Brookline, Massachusetts

Dexter School is a non-profit independent day school for boys in preschool through ninth grade. Southfield School was established in 1991 for girls seeking the same emphasis on academic excellence and moral and spiritual attitudes that are fostered at Dexter.

The challenge was to design a major addition that would complement the existing buildings while providing ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMAlan Schoenegge, AIA, Design ArchitectCOST PER SQ FT$300.75FEATURED IN2003 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYExhibition Space/Galleries expanded space.

The Clay Center includes a sloped-floor, theater-style lecture hall for 325 with integrated telecommunications and a special area for orchestra rehearsal; a dining hall with outdoor terraces and balcony overlooking the atrium-style lobby; a lab for biology, nature and environmental studies, as well as one for chemistry, physics and electronics; a solar lab for student environmental projects; and support facilities.

The Clay Center also houses an observatory with a 24-inch deep-space reflector teaching telescope; a co-mounted 7-inch planetary refractor telescope with astrocam; and a 24-foot-diameter dome for large groups and classes. Capabilities include day and night viewing of stars, planets, galaxies and orbiting satellites. A five-story structural frame, required to independently support the telescope, is exposed dramatically as a sculptural element in the two-story main entrance.