Riverdale Country School

Bronx, New York

Riverdale Country School, situated within an ecologically regulated area of New York City, required significant reconfiguration when it acquired a seven-acre property adjacent to the 12-acre campus. Four program requirements guided the project: physical and visual integration of the new property; preservation of outstanding natural features; creation of new ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONFEATURED IN2003 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYLandscape fields; and circulation improvements to integrate the sites and increase safety.

Primary design challenges were the city’s strict guidelines regarding natural features, and the neighborhood’s desire to maintain its pastoral character. Relocating Lloyd Hall, a landmark-eligible, three-story stone mansion, allowed the designers to reduce the project’s environmental impact, preserve beloved landscape features, and create new open space for the two new sand-based athletic fields. The historic building now welcomes students and visitors at a new entry roadway.

A new walkway system links the properties and separates vehicular circulation from pedestrian flow. An enhanced wetland offers an outdoor classroom for environmental studies. A pedestrian plaza provides a gathering area and accommodates a new elevator, offering handicapped access to the lower campus levels.

Total cost: $8 million (includes all site planning, recreation and circulation components, including construction of two athletic fields, planting of more than 160 trees, stabilization of 34,800 square feet of steep slopes, and design of a 5,200-square-foot wetland)