Smart Growth by VAL GLITSCH, FAIA
The addition to the Lower School, shown here at its southern entry, is one of four major components recently completed as part of Hockaday’s revised master plan. Capital improvements will culminate with construction of a fifth component, a new fine arts facility currently being designed to anchor the northwest corner of the campus.
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From its beginnings in 1913, the Hockaday School in Dallas has honed a reputation for providing “girls of strong potential” with an education of academic excellence and social responsibility founded on Miss Ela Hockaday’s original Four Cornerstones—character, courtesy, scholarship, and athletics. That she selected an architectural metaphor to classify essential strengths is meaningful in light of recent major additions and refinements to the school. In 1961, 600 “Hocka-daisies” moved to the school’s new suburban North Dallas location, a campus designed by Harwood K. Smith. The parti, in the spirit of the prevalent Gropius-influenced style, structured a Cartesian grid of crisp white steel columns framing masonry and glass panels across the western half of a rolling 100-acre site. Punctuating the one- and two-story, flat-roofed composition were a few special elements—the Main Entry, the Auditorium, the Gymnasium, and the beloved (but now-demolished) thin-shell concrete Primary School Rotunda. At the time, the Dallas Times Herald described the new campus as “eye-catching ... the most unusual, the most attractive, the most advanced learning facility in Dallas.” Over the past 40 years, the school has grown to include at least four new major buildings and approximately 1,000 girls. Consequently, in 2000, Hockaday commissioned an architectural collaboration between the Dallas firm Good, Fulton & Farrell, of renowned private school expertise, and San Antonio’s Overland Partners, an often-awarded design firm, to revisit the existing master plan and create an Academic Research Center, additions to the Lower School, renovations to the existing Middle/Upper School Classrooms, a wellness center, and a fine arts facility.
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