Lower School Expansion
Wilmington Friends School | Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington Friends School maintains a strong embrace of Quaker practice and principles. After they engaged VMA to design a significant expansion of the Lower School facilities, we led a collaborative consensus-oriented design process that reflected those principles to create spaces that represent their values of simplicity, humility, and warmth.
The expansion includes facilities for both arts and athletics. In the arts wing, the school sought a space which could facilitate both the performing arts and meeting for worship, part of their Quaker heritage. The design brings the surrounding Alapocas Woods inside through nineteen-foot-high floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as through finishes like the extensive use of light maple. It can seat 350 people and has AV/IT systems integrated subtly throughout. Adjacent are a music room, practice rooms, two art classrooms with ample north light, and a ceramics studio with a kiln.
Much of the space in the new athletics wing is dedicated to a new gymnasium. It is supported by new locker rooms, flexible classrooms dedicated to afterschool programs, and a porch large enough to provide enclosed outdoor play space.
Size: 25,000 sf