The Campus Center together with the Chapel and the Academic Buildings organize open space in a rhythm that recalls the rural legacy of the site.
Relating to rural Pennsylvania vernacular, ashlar stone is used with pitched roofs and small punched windows.
The building form suggests a domestic scale and is focused around a courtyard.
The 600-seat main theatre is complemented by a more intimate black box theatre.
The main theatre supports theatrical and musical performances.
State-of-the-art lighting, acoustical and safety equipment is included in both the main and black box theatre.
Crawford Campus Center, The Episcopal Academy
Newtowne Square, Pennsylvania
The Episcopal Academy, a College preparatory day school for boys and girls, embarked on an ambitious project to relocate its two campuses to a new 123-acre site in Philadelphia’s western suburbs. This project creates a single integrated campus and addresses the school’s need for additional and improved facilities. The master plan designed by GUND envisioned a school village consisting of main buildings and smaller buildings organized around a central green, with the Chapel as the focal point of the site. Several nationally recognized architects were selected to design the individual buildings.
The new Campus Center, together with the Chapel and the Academic Buildings, form the main outdoor rooms of the campus and organize open space in a rhythm that recalls the rural legacy of the site. Perched along the west side of the main campus quadrangle and part of the main pedestrian circulation, the Campus Center is purposefully broken down in scale and materials to express different functions. Recalling Pennsylvania barn architecture, random ashlar stone is used with pitched roofs and small punched window openings in a domestic scale for the main house functions, focused around a courtyard.
The main “house” contains campus-wide commons uses, including a faculty commons area, headmaster’s office, admissions and the school store, flanked by the library and dining hall. The U-shaped circulation, which opens onto an intimate courtyard, mediates between the large scale of the main green and smaller dedicated outdoor spaces. This organization also mirrors similar massing at the academic building across the quad. The performing and visual arts are located across the bar of the U.
The 600-seat multi-purpose courtyard-style theatre contains two tiers for the main orchestra and balcony plus a catwalk level. The arts house also 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. Building service and loading is from the lower level. To activate the main house corridors, the circulation opens with double height windows featuring distant views into the landscape at the courtyard. Art classrooms overlook an outdoor sculpture garden. A stone base wraps wood exteriors for both the library and the dining hall functions, located on the southwest edge of the complex, with distant views toward the existing farm buildings.