Old school meets new school

Greenwich Country Day School

Warner House, a 19th century farmhouse-turned-school building, has been the beating heart of GCDS’ vibrant middle school experience for nearly a century. ARC set out to transform it into a 21st century learning environment while honoring the traditions and history of the school.
Presentation Mode
Image
Exterior with students

A gateway to learning

Formerly a residence, Warner House was adapted into the original GCDS schoolhouse in 1927. To preserve the building in a way that aligns with the school’s needs and move the middle school into the future, ARC set about transforming the student experience with a new net zero addition and celebrating the original home as a gateway to 21st century learning.

This ambitious undertaking was with the sole goal of creating a space that would positively impact student learning. Now, seeing that dream realized, we’re thrilled.

Adam Rohdie, Head of School, GCDS

Image
Bridge

Bridging the gap

To link GCDS’ 19th century origins to its 21st century needs, ARC thought literally; a glassy bridge links the historic Warner House with a state-of-the-art two-story addition, which contains 25 classrooms and a handful of common spaces. The soaring central “Spine” functions as the main circulation axis and the heart of the community.

 

The campus that grew up around the original Warner house reflected its aesthetic. The new addition reflects the existing campus in a fresh, modern way.

Jan Taylor, Project Manager + Principal, ARC

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n1

The three classroom wings are designated by a local ecosystem story - marsh, forest, meadow – referencing natural environments found in the surrounding area and identified by vibrant colors found in the local environment - blue for Long Island Sound and Mianus River; green for local fields and woods; yellow for native flowers and pollinators.

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Spiral stair

Flexible and functional

Expanses of glass and higher ceilings mark the addition’s collaboration zones, including the library, media center, and all-school gathering area. Classroom wings are more intimately proportioned, with a distinctive gable form and punched openings. These are outfitted with easily reconfigurable furniture that teachers can manipulate to suit their lessons, and breakout areas with cozy nooks that invite small-group learning.

 

Image
community circle

Community circles, or campfires, are located in areas throughout the addition provide a framework for the sharing of stories and experiences.

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Seamless fit

A seamless fit

New construction on an historic campus is a delicate undertaking. The gable form and white clapboard exterior reflect the residential feel of the existing campus in a way that is fresh, modern, and in keeping with its surroundings.

 

The state-of-the-art renovation of the Warner home, and the highly sustainable new spaces, reflect an ongoing commitment to good stewardship and innovation.

Laura DiBonaventura, Director of Sustainability, GCDS

Image
Exterior view

Centuries of tradition for centuries to come

The net-zero addition balances ultra-low energy consumption with on-site energy production. A whole-roof solar array supplies more than 100% of the addition’s energy needs. A sustainability “dashboard” scrolls energy data in real time, providing students with feedback on how their activities impact building energy use, illustrating how the building is a changing, dynamic enclosure.

 

Image
biophilic design
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Large windows in classrooms

All learning spaces feature large windows that showcase the changing seasons and playing field activity. To moderate glare, electrochromic glass, which self-tints according to sun and cloud patterns, was installed on the addition’s east and south façades. This approach provides generous natural light and tempers a reliance on artificial lighting.

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15_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01.jpg
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16_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01.jpg
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17_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01.jpg
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5.23 kBtu/kwH/year

Annual energy use (< 9% of the energy use of an average primary school)

41.1%

of project site supports vegetation—a 12% increase over pre-project conditions. 

100%

of building stormwater runoff is managed on site

97%

of regularly occupied areas have direct views to the outdoors

Photography: Michael Moran Photography; Anthony Crisafulli Photography; ARC

Project
New Middle School at Greenwich Country Day School
Location
Greenwich, CT
Size
51,000 SF
Awards
2021 AIA New England Design Awards, Citation Award
2019 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New England, Education Facilities Design Award
2019 Engineering News Record, New England Region Best K-12 Education Project

Old school meets new school

Greenwich Country Day School

Project
New Middle School at Greenwich Country Day School
Location
Greenwich, CT
Size
51,000 SF
Awards
2021 AIA New England Design Awards, Citation Award
2019 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New England, Education Facilities Design Award
2019 Engineering News Record, New England Region Best K-12 Education Project
Warner House, a 19th century farmhouse-turned-school building, has been the beating heart of GCDS’ vibrant middle school experience for nearly a century. ARC set out to transform it into a 21st century learning environment while honoring the traditions and history of the school.
Presentation Mode
Image
Exterior with students

A gateway to learning

Formerly a residence, Warner House was adapted into the original GCDS schoolhouse in 1927. To preserve the building in a way that aligns with the school’s needs and move the middle school into the future, ARC set about transforming the student experience with a new net zero addition and celebrating the original home as a gateway to 21st century learning.

This ambitious undertaking was with the sole goal of creating a space that would positively impact student learning. Now, seeing that dream realized, we’re thrilled.

Adam Rohdie, Head of School, GCDS

Image
Bridge

Bridging the gap

To link GCDS’ 19th century origins to its 21st century needs, ARC thought literally; a glassy bridge links the historic Warner House with a state-of-the-art two-story addition, which contains 25 classrooms and a handful of common spaces. The soaring central “Spine” functions as the main circulation axis and the heart of the community.

 

The campus that grew up around the original Warner house reflected its aesthetic. The new addition reflects the existing campus in a fresh, modern way.

Jan Taylor, Project Manager + Principal, ARC

Image
n1

The three classroom wings are designated by a local ecosystem story - marsh, forest, meadow – referencing natural environments found in the surrounding area and identified by vibrant colors found in the local environment - blue for Long Island Sound and Mianus River; green for local fields and woods; yellow for native flowers and pollinators.

Image
n2
Image
n4
Image
Spiral stair

Flexible and functional

Expanses of glass and higher ceilings mark the addition’s collaboration zones, including the library, media center, and all-school gathering area. Classroom wings are more intimately proportioned, with a distinctive gable form and punched openings. These are outfitted with easily reconfigurable furniture that teachers can manipulate to suit their lessons, and breakout areas with cozy nooks that invite small-group learning.

 

Image
community circle

Community circles, or campfires, are located in areas throughout the addition provide a framework for the sharing of stories and experiences.

Image
Seamless fit

A seamless fit

New construction on an historic campus is a delicate undertaking. The gable form and white clapboard exterior reflect the residential feel of the existing campus in a way that is fresh, modern, and in keeping with its surroundings.

 

The state-of-the-art renovation of the Warner home, and the highly sustainable new spaces, reflect an ongoing commitment to good stewardship and innovation.

Laura DiBonaventura, Director of Sustainability, GCDS

Image
Exterior view

Centuries of tradition for centuries to come

The net-zero addition balances ultra-low energy consumption with on-site energy production. A whole-roof solar array supplies more than 100% of the addition’s energy needs. A sustainability “dashboard” scrolls energy data in real time, providing students with feedback on how their activities impact building energy use, illustrating how the building is a changing, dynamic enclosure.

 

Image
biophilic design
Image
Large windows in classrooms

All learning spaces feature large windows that showcase the changing seasons and playing field activity. To moderate glare, electrochromic glass, which self-tints according to sun and cloud patterns, was installed on the addition’s east and south façades. This approach provides generous natural light and tempers a reliance on artificial lighting.

Image
14_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01-01.jpg
Image
15_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01.jpg
Image
16_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01.jpg
Image
17_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01.jpg
Image
18_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01-01.jpg
Image
19_ARC_NewMiddleSchool-01-01.jpg

5.23 kBtu/kwH/year

Annual energy use (< 9% of the energy use of an average primary school)

41.1%

of project site supports vegetation—a 12% increase over pre-project conditions. 

100%

of building stormwater runoff is managed on site

97%

of regularly occupied areas have direct views to the outdoors

Photography: Michael Moran Photography; Anthony Crisafulli Photography; ARC

Old school meets new school / Greenwich Country Day School
Exterior view
Bridge
biophilic design
n1
Large windows in classrooms
n2
n4
Spiral stair
community circle
Exterior with students
Seamless fit