Tilton School’s goal was to create an academic building that would transform the way the school thought about itself. Having spent seven years strengthening its curriculum, faculty and board of trustees, the school was eager to build a facility that represented in physical form the many positive changes that had occurred internally. A new multipurpose academic building COST PER SQ FT$231.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio the school’s program requirements to align with its academic mission.
The program includes three new science laboratories and prep rooms, a seminar room for 114, the Center for Learning, a language laboratory, eight new classrooms, faculty offices and new administrative offices.
The 38,000-square-foot building is designed to be harmonious with the adjacent Plimpton Hall. Windows and floors align; proportions and materials are respected. With that foundation, the new academic building also strives to be more innovative and modern. It is open and light, and new materials blend with traditional. For example, many of the interior corners are rendered in glass to encourage views from the corridors into the offices and lecture hall. The building is designed to be high-performance, with an exterior barrier insulation system, high-performance mechanical and lighting systems and controls, light shelves and sunshades along the southern elevation, and outstanding daylighting characteristics in all teaching spaces. It blends well with the other traditional brick buildings on campus, yet clearly is a building of its time.
The exterior was designed with strong references to the great academic and mill buildings of northern New England. It is built of rugged, ageless materials: brick, granite, white oak and glass. The new building is connected to Plimpton Hall, the administrative and academic building. The two buildings create a unified academic/administrative complex and spatially define the new Academic Quadrangle.
To emphasize the school’s new academic model of horizontal integration, departmental classrooms and programs are close to their companion classrooms and programs. Faculty offices and meeting rooms were merged to encourage collaboration and cross-disciplinary teaching.