brooks school - chace house

  • north andover, MA

Our design takes its lead from the simple New England white clapboard buildings for which the school is so well known. The pureness of the white building and the simplicity of its form allow it to seamlessly settle into the surrounding campus architecture. The new building is a simple rectangular, two-story box housing the main dormitory space. In addition to student rooms, the ‘box’ includes a main common room on the first floor, a study loft on the second, two student baths, a kitchenette and laundry. Attached at either end of the dorm are two, three-bedroom faculty townhouses which are connected to student hallways by means of glass-enclosed ‘link’ spaces - furnished common areas in which students and faculty can gather. A third faculty apartment is tucked into the second floor student hallway. The first floor was designed to be accessible to meet the school’s needs for a universal designed space. 


The building was designed to take advantage of natural daylight by positioning the dorm rooms on the southern side of the building and by providing large operable windows that will bring light deep into the spaces. Solar Tubes are uses to bring light into the hallways of the dorm which are located in the center of the building. A solar Cupola is placed at the center of the building located above the main stairway of the building. The Cupola has four automated windows and a fan that operates based on outdoor temperature. When the temperature in the dorm reaches a certain degree the windows will open and the fan will turn on flushing the hot air inside the public spaces and reduces the need for air conditioning.  


The materials for the project were selected for durability, low maintenance and recycled content. These recycled materials included a zinc roof, metal clad windows, carpet tile floors and vinyl tile flooring. Storage and recycle areas are located in the Kitchen collection area, where students can participate in a campus run program.