This project for Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts is to demolish the two existing art and science buildings on campus, and redesign a new building that combines both art and science departments.  Eaglebrook School is private boy’s boarding school, grades six through nine.  Located just away from the perimeter of the town of Deerfield, the school is on a grassy shallow hillside surrounded by forest.  The campus is essentially insulated by forest and rolling hills, so naturally the incorporation of landscape design and connection to the views of the wildlife is of high priority.

The design of the project addresses several critical relationships.  Mainly, the form of the building is designed to absorb and speak to the corner of the pond.  A simple linear volume is created to reflect the dominant axis of the edge of the pond, then the volume bends in plan in order to create a dialogue with the corner of the pond.  The corner of the pond then becomes a focal point for the amphitheatre, which emerges out of the landscape in the curved corner of the volume.  Throughout the building, the spaces used for group gathering and socializing become moments where the facade opens up, allowing the beauty of the natural landscape to enter the building.  Furthermore, the various art department spaces (such as painting, ceramic, and stone carving studios) are intermixed with the various science department spaces (such as labs and classrooms). 
This allows neither art nor science to have a distinct area of the building; both fields are interrelated allowing the students to understand the inherent similarities between the two.  This act of intermixing reduces any spatial hierarchy that would keep the two fields separate from each other.  This idea is reinforced sectionally, as the entire building is essentially one continuous interior volume, with only a few light partitions and glass walls to create enclosed classrooms.  Communication and serendipitous interactions between art and science students is opened up by this continuous, flowing space.  This building creates and promotes a different type of academic and social culture within the school.  Typically, educational spaces are highly divided and autonomous; an educational building is usually a group of individual parts that do not spatially blend into each other.  By having all of the group learning spaces connected, the design encourages the school culture to shift towards a more collaborative micro community.

Semester: Spring 2017
Course: Design 402
Critic: Lou Goodman

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