Independent Schools

Independent Schools

We understand independent schools’ curricula and are well-versed in student life at boarding and day schools. We have witnessed how our architectural designs inspire their creative process, strengthen their social fabric, and even instill a passion for lifelong learning.

Independent Schools: Topic

​Combining Classrooms and Labs

In the 1980s we introduced classrooms into science labs (a concept now widely accepted as “Clabs”.) We did this so teachers might switch quickly between hands-on lab work and spoken teaching. Today, science pedagogy has evolved from ‘lecture and lab’ to group work and discovery. Our Clab concept supports this evolution by enabling classes to split into separate study and work groups during the same class period. Physical details of our Clab concept can be modified to support a school’s distinct teaching approach. For instance, at Phillips Exeter Academy we switched out tablet arm chairs for the school’s traditional racetrack Harkness table.

Independent Schools: Topic

​A Community of Scholars

We believe learning must thrive outside the classroom. At Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Cambridge we created places where students and faculty can interact freely, such as nooks along hallways and a central courtyard that brings the whole community together. At University School in Cleveland, learning continues after class in hallways with whiteboards and eddy-lounges. Teachers offer impromptu help to students during free periods from tables in corridors.

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Independent Schools: Topic

​Celebrating Science

Our new science buildings are excellent recruiting tools, featuring large glass walls that show off classes to prospective (and existing) students. Phillips Exeter Academy and Berkshire School both found that student interest in science blossomed after they saw the exciting activity in classroom-labs.

Independent Schools: Topic

Teachable Moments

Our classrooms accommodate different teaching formats. They are flexible spaces that support multiple activities, with calibrated lighting, advanced projection technologies, and well-tuned acoustics. At Ohio’s University School, we found that classroom acoustics helped the students focus.

Independent Schools: Topic

Learning by Doing

We have designed a variety of environments where students apply knowledge with hands-on learning. This project-based, experiential approach has given rise to durable and flexible maker spaces where they explore the fertile intersection of math, engineering, technology, and art.