The 18-acre Ward Parkway campus serves 700 students in grades 6 to 12. Its transformation addresses issues typical of many independent schools, where later interventions often have ignored the vision of the initial planners. A series of buildings introduced in the 1960s at the western end of the site related poorly to the open space and to the Georgian architecture of ASSOCIATED FIRMHNTB Corp.COST PER SQ FT$194.00FEATURED IN2005 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYCampus Master Planning original school.
The project focused attention on the dominant position at the uphill end of the quadrangle by placing a new library of a scale that corresponds to the importance of this location. The central landscape was reshaped to emulate Jefferson’s grass terraces that, in this application, step downward to the east with an open view to playing fields and a city parkway.
A new middle school and a new upper school also were designed, and the old library was converted into an upper school commons. In each of these buildings, public spaces such as the library’s reading rooms; the upper school entry, lounge and commons; and the middle school entry lobby and commons interact with and overlook the main quadrangle.
The irregularity of the surrounding streetscape suggested the creation of two types of landscapes: formal and informal. A formal, elongated, Jeffersonian lawn traverses the main east-west axis of the campus. Irregular, informal landscapes of playing fields, parking lots, access drives and buffer areas between the campus and the residential neighborhood surround the formal core.