Brearley School, New York City, NY, USA

Brearley School

The Brearley School accomplishes what few New York City schools achieve: it goes above and beyond NYC-standards with its dream and vision for a new school building. The new location on New York’s Upper East Side is home to classrooms, a theater, dance studio and a gym. The new building features plenty of windows on the bottom floor and fewer on top, responding in an exemplary way to the New York City context and the environment in which it was built. The surrounding buildings provide excellent shading for the lower floors.

The building’s envelope is insulated well beyond code minimum and features double glazing with two low-e coatings to further reduce heat loss. The building also features minimum ventilation air with active chilled beams – unusual for a school building in New York City.

All windows are operable and allow for natural ventilation, utilizing the return fan to circulate air for optimal air flow. This maintains Brearley’s existing culture of opening and closing windows in tune with the seasons, long in place in their existing historic building.

The long-term goal for this ambitious project is to use the building as a teaching tool for sustainability with Brearley students.