T h e N e w S a n d y H o o k S c h o o l
The design for the school building has been evolving concurrently with the Site Plan, as the elements of the site need to complement the functioning of the building. Consequently, as building designs were developed they shared similarities in relationship to the site layout:
• The building curves along the south edge of the site, creating an embrace as you approach the building.
• Public and semi-public spaces are located along the front facade of the building, to serve as a security buffer to the classrooms located in the rear interior of the building.
• The main entry is at the center of the building, in line with the central drive into the parking lot, providing clear sightlines.
• Gym and Cafeteria are placed together towards the west end of the building, for easy access to the adjacent playing fields and a playground. There is also a dedicated after-hours entrance at this end.
• Pre-K and Kindergarten Classrooms are located towards the east end of the building, with a separate and dedicated entrance; and adjacent to the smaller children's playground.
• All are partial two-story schemes, with grades 2-4 on the second floor. A grand central staircase is featured in each scheme.
Main Street Scheme
The 'main street,' or primary circulation of this scheme, links all of the various program elements of the school together. Similar to the plan of a town, the classroom wings extend off of the circulation spine, and define exterior courtyards, buffered by the forest beyond. This scheme maximizes views towards the south through the axial corridors and through the outdoor courtyards. The outdoor courtyards are envisioned to be landscaped to provide outdoor learning and gathering areas and will be defined with stone walls or other landscape features to create a sense of enclosure.
The inward focused dual courtyards of this scheme create interior 'outdoor classroom' spaces. These outdoor classrooms both draw nature into the building, and provide a safe and interactive learning environment for students. In this scheme the library is moved to occupy the center heart of the school. While the library does not have any direct walls/windows to the exterior, it will be softly lit from almost every side through borrowed light across corridors to the courtyards and from clerestory windows or skylights above. Some classrooms will face the courtyard and others will face the south and the forested wetland beyond.
The Hybrid Scheme combines qualities of both the Main Street and Courtyard Schemes. Smaller interior courtyards serve as 'pocket gardens,' bringing light and nature to the interior, while the classroom wings echo the exterior courtyards of the Main Street scheme, allowing for outdoor learning spaces. This scheme also locates the library at the center.