Sipprelle Field House

St. Andrew’s School | Middletown, Delaware

Following the completion of a campus-wide athletics plan, St. Andrew’s School asked us to further develop our proposal for a new athletics facility that would achieve their ambitious programmatic goals, respect their institutional commitment to sustainable design, and work harmoniously with their existing campus architecture. The site selected was close to their main entry, directly adjacent to their existing facilities and occupied by several tennis courts. Constructing eleven new courts on a nearby site first enabled the project to move forward.

By sinking the field house into the ground by about 15 feet, we were not only able to visually reduce the mass of the building but were able to temper the largest interior volume – a three-court gymnasium – with the surrounding 55 degree temperature of the earth. This passive technique provides real benefits to the building’s energy usage. The roof is saw toothed, which provides enough north-facing light on the courts to play by day, in turn helping to reduce the need for artificial lighting. An indoor jogging track runs around the perimeter of the courts at grade level, where ample glazing provides a visual link to the outdoor playing fields.

The courts themselves are supplemented by amenities like a rehab center, team rooms, and space for laundry & equipment storage. We incorporated much of the existing athletics facilities into the new field house as well: one was a handsome and iconic gym from the 1930’s that was well loved, which was upgraded and retained as a gymnasium, and the second was an exhibition basketball court and a smaller gym from the 1960’s that was converted into a wrestling room.

The project’s commitment to both passive and active sustainable design techniques earned the project LEED Gold Certification.

Landscape completed in association with Rodney Robinson Landscape Architects.


LEED Gold Certified
U.S. Department of Education, Green Ribbon School, 2013
AIA Delaware Chapter, Honor Award with Sustainable Building Recognition, 2013
Engineering News Record, Best Sports/Entertainment Project from Mid-Atlantic Region, 2012


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Size: 51,000 sf new construction; 45,000 renovation
Budget: $20 million


Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, Landscape, Sustainability

Sipprelle Field House

St. Andrew’s School | Middletown, Delaware

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