The Learning Commons & Administrative Addition to the K-8 independent Mark Day School campus will provide a much-needed grand entry and gateway into the existing campus, which was built in 1960. The new addition will complete the campus plan diagram as laid out in the original 1960 design, and will act as a permeable edge to the main entrance of the campus that encloses the central outdoor quad space on campus.
This existing outdoor space is the heart of the campus and the new building will activate that heart by serving as the main entry portal for visitors to pass through upon arriving on campus. It will also provide transparency and openness in its program and configuration that allows student life and programs to spill out into the central quad. This blurred distinction between indoor and outdoor space – one of the central design concepts of the new building – will activate this existing exterior campus heart, thereby bringing the exciting campus culture back to an outdoor space that currently is only used for formally scheduled events. This will not only allow students to reengage with the quad, but will make apparent to all visitors to the campus the exciting student life and projects that are a part of the rich pedagogy of Mark Day School. This sense of openness and transparency will also be a prominent feature of the new building itself, with an elevation composed of mostly large sliding glass doors on the quad side elevation. An exterior second level balcony and prominent exterior stair will encourage students to move fluidly between the indoor and outdoor spaces as they work and interact with one another.