Horace Mann School

SOM collaborated with Horace Mann School to define a master plan reimagining the north portion of the Middle & Upper Division Campus. The plan envisioned a new Science Center and Campus Center Building, a new Aquatic Center, and the expansion, renovation, and adaptive reuse of a historic gymnasium to create ideal environments for learning, creativity, and student wellness. To accommodate mobile learners who rely on new technology, the plan provides spaces that support independent and team-based discovery. It also provides informal spaces for meeting, studying, and learning. A flexible, campus-wide design standard incorporates stone and brick materials to unify new and existing architecture.

The new Science Center and Campus Center building embraces reflective and active learning by encouraging hands-on activities, collaboration, and creativity. The Science Center includes chemistry, biology, and physics labs, breakout spaces, prep rooms, classrooms, and faculty offices. The design reinforces the school’s pedagogy, which emphasizes exposing students to advanced science activities and research early in their education. The integrated, multilevel Campus Center provides dedicated space for student activities, informal lounge areas, a Great Room for meeting and collaboration, and quiet rooms for independent or group study. Incorporating the stone and brick found in the historic gymnasium, the Science Center and Campus Center create a new front door to the North Campus and blend with the campus context. The massing of the building steps away from the athletic fields, creating an appropriate relationship to the campus.

The new Aquatic Center features an eight-lane pool with a movable floor for competitive water polo, youth instruction, and faculty use. Expandable locker rooms enable four separate teams to use the lockers during tournaments. The seating accommodates 150 spectators. Study areas in the Campus Center overlook the pool and increase spectator capacity. The Aquatic Center uses a pre-engineered structure which accelerated the construction schedule and optimized the school’s resources.

The historic Prettyman Gymnasium was restored and upgraded to accommodate a greater range of activities. The building underwent restoration of its exterior and of the historic lower level gymnasium, with minor modifications to the 1960s upper gymnasium. This project also includes the adaptive reuse of a pool into a fitness center with a trainers’ suite for student wellness. Historic details such as the pool’s original wood trusses and red brick elements were exposed. The gymnasium serves as the centerpiece of North Campus, while the new Science Center, Campus Center, and Aquatic Center wrap around the gymnasium and respond to the materiality of the historic building’s stone piers, and brick and stone chimney.

A new lobby serves as the entrance to the gymnasium, connecting four different levels of the existing building and upgrading its accessibility. The lobby features seating and social spaces for students. Glass walls provide views to the campus, while the stone and brick walls reinforce the character of the existing campus.