The Episcopal Academy
Crawford Campus Center
Designing a village-scaled campus.
Before designing the new Campus Center, GUND led the school through a master planning process to replicate its two campuses to a new 123 acre site. The master plan envisions a school village consisting of main buildings and smaller buildings organized around a central green, with a Chapel as the focal point of the site. The new Campus Center helps to form the main outdoor rooms of the campus and organize open space in a rhythm that recalls the rural legacy of the site. The building is purposefully broken down in scale and materials to express its different functions. Recalling Pennsylvania barn architecture, ashlar stone is used with pitched roofs and small punched window openings focused around a courtyard.
Co-locating programs for maximum impact.
The Campus Commons is a prominent structure and functions as the heart of the campus serving the Upper, Middle and Lower Schools. It combines a variety of programs that are typically housed in separate buildings. This combination of library, theater, visual arts, dining, faculty commons, headmaster’s office, admissions and the school store encourages participation and cross-pollination of ideas and experiences among students of all ages.
A library supports 21st century learning.
The library forms the heart of the Campus Center and is the front door onto the community. Entering the ground floor, visitors move into an expansive two-story lobby with grand stair to the second level. A fireplace and large windows look back into the campus heart and animate the reception and waiting areas. A generous faculty commons room is a forecourt to the two-story reading room, signaling the intimate, mentored connection between faculty and students. A generous balcony on the Library’s second level overlooks the reading room below. Classrooms are integrated into the Library to signal the changing nature of learning. Large group work, small group work and independent study areas are located throughout.
An enriching arts program.
The performing and visual arts are located in the core of the building. A 600-seat multi-purpose courtyard-style theatre contains two tiers for the main orchestra and balcony plus a catwalk level. The arts house includes a black box theater, seating 150-180 in a variety of configurations. Choral rehearsal and band rehearsal spaces are located across the corridor from the theater and open out into the courtyard. To activate the main house corridors, the circulation opens with double height windows featuring distant views of the landscape beyond. Art classrooms overlook an outdoor sculpture garden.
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