Abbott Dining Hall

The Lawrenceville School | Lawrenceville, New Jersey

The prestigious independent school, Lawrenceville, sought to promote love and loyalty within its student body through a transformative  renovation of the 1960’s-era Abbott Dining Hall that exclusively serves senior, or “Fifth Form,” students in their last year on campus. The project would respond to the style of the adjacent Upper House dorm and other Peabody & Stearns architecture to help achieve that goal.

VMA’s reconfiguration blends seamlessly into the Lawrenceville aesthetic with new brick facades and pitched slate roof, supported by glulam beam trusses. In addition to a complete redesign of the kitchen and servery, custom white oak furniture and booth seating ensure flexibility of layout. Finally, white oak paneling, terrazzo flooring, and over-scaled fireplaces complete the vision. 

With its memorabilia-lined entry hallway, lounge, and private dining areas, Abbott may now serve as an exclusive space for seniors to socialize, dine, and reflect on their years at Lawrenceville. In addition, the enlarged terrace provides outdoor seating options for mealtime and special events, expanding the scope of possible activities in the space.


Renovation/Restoration Award Winner, ICAA Philadelphia Trumbauer Awards, 2022
Honorable Mention - Institutional Design, East Pennsylvania ASID Interior Design Awards, 2020
Commercial, Civic, and Institutional Architecture Award Winner, ICAA Stanford White Awards, 2020
Honorable Mention, IIDA PA/NJ/DE Interior Design Awards, 2019
Best Educational Institutional Project Award, General Building Contractors Association, 2018
Excellence in Craftsmanship Award, General Building Contractors Association, 2018


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Size: 13,000 sf
Budget: $8 million


Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape

Abbott Dining Hall

The Lawrenceville School | Lawrenceville, New Jersey

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