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Describing the new Upper Learning Building on the Lower School campus as "design thinking writ large," Architectural Record featured the project in an in-depth article this week.
The 23,000-square-foot classroom building for grades three to five replaced the Perkins Building, which was built in 1967 and designed for high school students. Riverdale investigated whether the building could be adapted to the Lower School's needs, and concluded that the structure could not provide an optimal classroom layout for younger students.
Construction took place in the 2015-2016 school year, and the new building opened in September.
In addition to nine classrooms, the building has a glass-walled cafeteria/meeting space, a theater with retractable seating, and multipurpose learning areas. Four skylights, writable walls, and creative directional graphics create opportunities for learning more about how the building and the students relate to geography, nature, and natural resources.
The building was designed by Architecture Research Office with graphics and signage created by Open.
Comparing the building to a startup, Architectural Record said it "was designed with an entrepreneurial spirit, each detail meant to incubate ideas and foster innovative teaching and learning." Read more here.