Casertano Dining Hall

Millbrook School | Millbrook, New York

Millbrook School struggled with the inadequate size and noisy interior of their existing dining hall, which could no longer accommodate their tradition of all-school formal dinners. As the historic structure had been adapted over the years, its ad hoc additions had begun to detract from the original building’s gracious scale and detail. Building a new dining hall was a priority of a comprehensive campus plan produced by VMA.

Working from the campus plan’s original concept, a glazed gallery and cupola over the main entry connect the original dining hall with the new one while forming a focal point for the court. The new dining room is light, airy, quiet, and architecturally expressive of the school’s mission and identity while providing seating for 400.The kitchen has been sized to accommodate cooking instruction. It also features freezers large enough to hold locally and seasonally produced vegetables in bulk.

The servery is configured for flexibility and efficiency, with stations around the perimeter and wheeled islands in the center. Views to the north, intentionally visible through the open kitchen, include the school’s organic gardens. The school’s farm-to-table food service reflects their overall commitment to sustainability, which includes the pursuit of carbon neutrality. Environmental initiatives are also reflected through the materials palette, incorporation of natural light, and installation of geothermal systems. 

The original dining room has been transformed into the campus living room and is used to host faculty and trustees meetings, special dinners, and events. A new exterior courtyard provides outdoor dining in between the old dining hall and the new.

Landscape completed in association with Andropogon Associates.


Trumbauer Award, Institute of Classical Architecture & Art - Philadelphia Chapter, 2018
Award of Excellence, Architectural Woodword Institute, 2018
Gold Award, Brick in Architecture Award, 2018
Stanford White Award, Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, 2019


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Size: 15,000 sf
Budget: $9.7 million


Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, Landscape

Casertano Dining Hall

Millbrook School | Millbrook, New York

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