The Independence School

Newark, Delaware

The architectural challenge of this 66,000-square-foot expansion was to connect two existing buildings and entries with new construction. The existing rotunda, which had served as an icon for the school, was to remain, and a new visual focal point was to be created.

The two existing buildings consist of different vocabularies. The main building is large and ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$226.00FEATURED IN2006 Architectural Portfolio sets precedence of materials, fenestration arrangement and massing. A new axis was created to connect the two existing entry points and is the basis of the floor plan of the new building components. Architectural elements are derived from existing materials and elements to create a new focal point while relating to the original structures.

The new faculty and admissions suite, capped with a sweeping, curved roof and wrapped in arcing screen walls, signifies the new front entry, establishing a new focal point on campus. Elements from the existing rotunda are referenced intentionally to reinforce the effect. Masonry piers establish the new axis and reiterate the connection of the buildings.

Sun shading to the south and west creates passive solar shading and accentuates architectural features in the form of deep overhangs, sun shades and screen walls.