Haverford School Today: Winter 2020

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The Middle School’s next chapter By Maarten I. Pesch, AIA, LEED AP, principal and architect at WRT

When I was a young architect, I didn’t immediately think about the long-term impact of my work. I thought first about massing, scale, and building materials. I wanted to make sure I got everything exactly right, and I wanted to design buildings that would impress and delight my clients, peers, and colleagues. Of course, I still consider all these things today (and the many other elements that go into building design), but what I care most about is the impact I can make in the lives of the people who use the buildings. I want what I help create to make people’s lives easier, happier, and more productive – and that’s especially true with a project like The Haverford School’s new Middle School. A PLAN FOR THE HAVERFORD SCHOOL My relationship with Haverford began many years ago with the development of the first campus master plan. As my colleagues and I got to know the School, we came to understand just how unique and special Haverford is. In addition to the School’s 46

Winter 2020

values, tradition of excellence, and outstanding faculty and staff, Haverford has a relatively compact campus in terms of site area and acreage. This naturally strengthens the sense of community, encourages interaction between the divisions, and results in a strategic sharing of resources. As we worked on the first campus master plan, my firm recommended a shift towards a more pedestrian-focused campus and a phased approach to enlarging and re-thinking the academic and support spaces. WRT assisted the School as architects and landscape architects for a series of implementation projects over the years, including a new athletics facility, new Lower School, the renovation of the dining and food service areas in Crosman Hall, and several other building upgrades and landscape changes. The most crucial shift, in my mind, was relocating drop-off and pick-up vehicular driveways from the center of campus to the edges. What used to be a traffic circle with cars is now the School’s beautiful open Quad, visible from almost every building on campus. We also consulted on the design for the new Upper

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