Church Farm School | Exton, PA
To help deliver on the School’s unique and inspiring mission of encouraging students to “lead productive and fulfilling lives by making a college preparatory education financially accessible,” VMA was engaged by the 95-year-old Church Farm School to complete a comprehensive plan and subsequently deliver a series of campus upgrades. To accommodate its continued growth and changing surroundings, the School prioritized relocating their main entrance away from the aggressive traffic on Lancaster Avenue and defined a pedestrian-oriented core to the academic campus.
In addition, the School wished to enhance the arrival experience with a more prominent entrance to Greystock Hall, the school’s main academic and administrative building. In designing the addition, VMA established vibrant and energetic interiors but with durable materials and furnishings that could withstand long-term and repeated use. For Greystock Hall, the design included accessibility upgrades, new features that would enable some campus functions to evolve with school growth, and the chance to capitalize on the beautiful setting, all while retaining the communal nature integral to the Church Farm experience.
Building a prominent, new entry on the north side of Greystock connects it directly to a reconfigured entry road and faces the new art center (in what was once a maintenance garage). Visitors are welcomed into an atrium where they can be directed by the receptionist, who also monitors student traffic in and out of the building. Admissions and the Head of School were each given a new suite of offices directly off the atrium. New central stairs lead up to the second floor, offering easy access to the enlarged student dining room, which is a campus focal point as meals at the boarding school are shared and served family-style. A new elevator offers increased accessibility. The flat roof of the new entry addition may be used as a terrace, offering outdoor dining in favorable weather and amazing views over the surrounding rural landscape and rolling hills. A new board room shares access to the terrace, giving the school’s leadership an appropriately dignified setting for its work. Finally, new and improved spaces for student collaboration are found throughout the building, ranging from small seating nooks to furnished lounges bathed in natural light from large, historic windows.
Architecture, Interior Design, Planning