Hamilton Math & Science Center
Millbrook School | Millbrook, New York
Millbrook School identified a new academic center dedicated to math and the sciences as an important priority of a comprehensive campus plan produced by VMA, and it would need to represent the commitment to sustainability and carbon neutrality that the school had recently made.
VMA’s design ensured that Millbrook students would not only study in first class learning spaces but would offer features that could serve as sustainable learning tools.
Formal learning environments in the center (labs, classrooms) were optimized for flexibility and linked seamlessly to informal collaborative areas to facilitate an efficient flow of work. The latest technology was integrated into the math classrooms. The environmental science lab was positioned to offer direct access to the outdoors to accommodate field experiments. And, a workshop lab provided space to build larger tech projects like solar cars or robotics. Every inch of the interior offers places where ideas may be exchanged. Blackboards, tables, benches, chairs, and fun “red stone” stools encourage breakout work and spontaneous interaction.
Because daylight and views are integral to both energy efficiency and high quality education, all lecture rooms, labs, and offices receive natural light from at least two directions. High efficiency light fixtures are coupled with daylight harvesting sensors and dimming ballasts to automatically control energy consumption. Energy efficiency is also achieved by utilizing a geothermal heating and cooling system. Closed-loop wells transfer heat energy at a percentage of the operating cost of a standard system. Further energy savings are gained by natural ventilation in the fall and spring and by passive solar heat gain in colder months. Intended as a teaching tool, the building uses didactic signs to point out its sustainable features. It was one of the first academic buildings in New York to achieve LEED Gold Certification.
Through their experience of the building, students are exposed to sustainable design concepts (borrowed light, rainwater harvesting, use of recycled materials etc.) as well as the environmental impacts of drinking water from a fountain, being conscientious about opening and closing windows, and turning lights on and off.
LEED Gold Certified
Best Commercial Building, Marvin Windows Architects Challenge, 2016
Institute for Classical Architecture & Art, Stanford White Award, 2015
Traditional Building Magazine, Palladio Award - New Design & Construction more than 5,000 sf, 2009
AIA Pennsylvania Chapter, Citation Award, 2008
AIA Westchester/Mid-Hudson Chapter, Honor Award, 2008
Size: 24,000 sf
Budget: $8.4 million
Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, Landscape, Sustainability