The Shipley Center Dana Hall School

Wellesley, MA
Construction Cost: $21.9 million
Area / Square Feet: 94,555
Occupancy Date: September 2005

The exterior use of brick, glass, metal panels and metal roofing led one judge to describe the Shipley Center at Dana Hall School as “a thoughtful contemporary interpretation of traditional architecture.”

Because it serves as the campus hub for physical education, athletics, wellness and social activities, one might expect such a facility to be bulky. This isn’t true of the Shipley Center, as “small-scale elements around the perimeter shield the large elements of the facility, making it compatible with the rest of the campus,” according to a second juror.

Aiding this contextual integration is a path that knifes through a main campus green and continues inside the center, functioning as a main street that provides access to all major athletic spaces within. Here, skylights, floor openings and interior glazing promote transparency and vertical connectivity.

Cheerful accents of blue and white echo school colors, while maple guardrails, panels and sports floors provide warmth. Located near the entry and boasting a fireplace, lounge seating and campus views is a cozy “Living Room” that further enhances the facility’s communal atmosphere.

Judge's Comments

The massing of the building is very successful in reducing the building’s scale. Interiors are well detailed.
— Philip Laird

From a campus planning perspective, I like the way it anchors the southern end of the campus.
— J. Thomas Seymour

Very nice contextual design and clear circulation patterns on a sloping site.
— Michael Woollen