Germantown Friends School | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The process behind the planning and design of the Campus Common at Germantown Friends School embodied the independent school’s Quaker philosophy of building consensus around important decisions. The project arose from a strong desire to transform their central parking lot into a multi-purpose campus green space. It took 13 years of design, discussion, testing and trial runs to reach consensus within the school community, the Germantown Monthly Meeting and the greater community. Drop-off patterns were changed to use all four street frontages that define the GFS core campus. A new parking lot was designed and built adjacent to the core campus and the traffic pattern through the campus was reversed to make a safer pedestrian environment. These moves allowed us to transform the parking lot into a Commons which is characterized by lawn crisscrossed by connecting paths, and indigenous blooming flowers near the lower school and a paved hardscape play area that serves the older students. Princeton Elms frame the entry drive. On Sundays, the paved area doubles as parking for the Meeting. The campus is now more beautiful and environmentally conscious. Importantly, the student experience is now at the heart of the school.
Size: 1.25 acres
Budget: $1 million