Comprehensive Campus Plans
Germantown Friends School | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Germantown Friends School 1992 Master Plan
Having expanded in a piecemeal manner over the course of its 150-year history, Germantown Friends School in 1992 recognized the need for a comprehensive plan that could guide future growth.
As part of the planning process, Germantown expressed two overarching goals to VMA: a desire to better unify the campus while integrating with the surrounding Germantown neighborhood and the need to accomplish multiple programmatic improvements that would modernize their learning environments. To do this, VMA focused its assessment on how the school could best make use of its available campus resources.
VMA’s plan proposed practical interventions, including improving the campus’ visual connection to the neighborhood, creating a permanent playground for the Kindergarten, construction of perimeter parking lots and drop-off zones, and renovation of the main parking lot to redefine the core of campus as a pedestrian-friendly zone. After completion of the plan, VMA then worked with the school on implementation of further projects, including a new student center, and then returned again in 2005 to produce an updated master plan that would build upon the previous improvements.
Germantown Friends School 2005 Master Plan
Building upon the success of the 1992 plan we were asked to update the plan in 2005 with the goal of strengthening the heart of the campus while creating autonomous Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. We worked closely with the Facilities Planning Committee, faculty, and staff to understand the programmatic implications of this goal within the context of the existing campus structure.
A significant challenge was identifying potential sites for new construction that would not jeopardize overall campus organization or be out of scale to the architectural context of the campus and surrounding historic Germantown neighborhood. However, together with the school we developed a multi-phased plan that considered both the priority and feasibility of the proposed projects, which included a new science building, an expanded and improved library, and the expansion of the existing Middle School building.
Size: 13.4 acres