Dover High School delivers an open, flexible and accessible environment with something for every student. Built on the site of the existing 1915 high school, the design navigates the challenging portions of the available site and responds with innovative ways to connect the students to each other, and to the community beyond. The three-story design creates a compact footprint and brings everyone into the school at the mid-level, enabling greater accessibility to every space. The sunken courtyard delivers enhanced daylight and greater indoor/outdoor connections.
The openness of the building is exemplified in the centrally located commons that connects to every major component of the new school: the media center, academic wings, fine arts and athletics. Situated between the theater and gymnasium, the commons serves as a pre-function space for both. During the day it also serves as a student dining and gathering space along with the connected courtyard. Learning stairs on either end support enhanced interactive learning throughout the school day.
The 1,800-seat competition gymnasium accommodates several practice courts and an indoor track that serves the community after school hours. The 1,200-seat auditorium supports the school’s strong performing arts program while the balcony provides flexibility for large group lectures.
The complex and restricted site that yielded the intimate design solution of an exterior sunken courtyard also demanded an elevated level of coordination between all disciplines. The gesture of lowering an outdoor space created many challenges of complex building foundations and site drainage, while the adjacent indoor spaces wanted to feel seamless from interior to exterior. This is best exemplified in the learning stair that appears to flow and connect from inside to outside. The intersection of structural foundations, architectural envelope, underground drainage and tiered landscape feels balanced and natural. Students move through and experience the space as it was intended, intimately.
Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)