Properties Magazine November 2012 : Page 24

Inspired Expansion University School addition combines modern learning spaces, timeless craftsmanship By Mark Watt | Photos by Joe Darwal S ince its establishment in 1890, University School has focused on preparing young men for the future with not just rigorous academic training in the classroom, but also through hands-on physi-cal and manual education. The mission: to educate “the whole boy, including head, heart and hands.” teaching and learning. Aesthetically, the addition is a showcase of fine craftsmanship and forward-thinking sus-tainable design, nodding to the school’s culture of tactile learning inside and outside the classroom. “Going deep into the history of University School, one of its hallmarks is a tradition of craftsmanship – boys like to make things,” says Mark Simon, proj-ect architect with Connecticut-based firm Centerbrook Architects, which designed the new wing. “So the addition is designed with materials that declare their being made by craftsmen. All too often in this modern day, buildings are designed as if they dropped from heaven, ready-made by an automated process. There’s no sense of the hands that made them. Here, everywhere you look you see details that remind kids that people made this building by hand.” Built by The Albert M. Higley Company with Project & Construction Services Inc. (P|C|S) acting as the Owner’s Representative, the new all-concrete structure features, for example, an exterior with Ipe Brazilian Walnut decking and mahogany wood curtain-wall, as well as copper cladding, roofs and downspouts. Inside, walls of all public areas are paneled with white oak, some of which came from trees that were cut down on the school’s grounds, milled on campus, and then kiln-dried and fab-ricated locally. 3URSHUWLHV | November 2012 That tradition remains alive as ever with the recent opening of a $27.5 million, 52,000-square-foot addi-tion at the independent day school’s Hunting Valley Upper Campus, which serves students in grades 9 through 12. Accommodating a student body at the Upper School that has grown from 280 in the 1970s to more than 400 today, the new academic wing provides spa-cious, state-of-the-art learning spaces to meet current and future needs. Functionally, the new, three-story wing provides 25 mathematics, history, English and foreign language classrooms, as well as multiple modern science labs, meeting rooms and offices, all incor-porating the latest ideas in effective 24

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