The Winsor School Boston, Massachusetts

The Winsor School Boston Building, Massachusetts Girls’ College Prep School for Day Students

The Winsor School Boston

Massachusetts Architecture, USA – design by William Rawn Associates, Architect, Inc.

Aug 29, 2018

The Winsor School in Boston

Design: William Rawn Associates, Architect, Inc.

Location: 103 Pilgrim Road, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Winsor School, Lubin O’Donnell Center for Performing Arts and Wellness

Nearly doubling the square footage of this historic all-girls school in Boston, this 143,000 gsf project brings together program types often segregated – arts and athletics – to encourage leadership, collaboration, and creative risk taking.

The Winsor School, Lubin O'Donnell Center for Performing Arts and Wellness building

Nearly every space – from music rehearsal to dance to fitness to costume shop to engineering maker space – is given presence in multi-level light-filled corridors. Students proficient in one discipline or activity will see others and may broaden their interests.

The new Center shifts the creative and physical energy of the school to the lightfilled public common spaces and establishes the Theatre as the new heart of the community (serving both as the daily all-school assembly space and as the school’s prime performance space for music, theatre, and dance. Key to achieving this new campus center are the following features:

1. Arts, Sports & Wellness in Single Building: Program needs required nontraditional adjacency of acoustically sensitive theatre and music programming with athletic gym uses. Sound transmission mitigation between the mixed-use programming required unique sound barrier construction systems.

• Full structural separation between theatre and rest of center.
• Barrier ceiling assemblies between ground floor rehearsal spaces and programming above.
• Room-within-a-room music practice studios.
• Resilient acoustic subfloor dampening system within gym floor assembly.

2. Activated Ground Floor: Primary arts and wellness spaces grouped along shared ‘mainstreet’ corridor with following shared features:

• Visible activities in each space from inside and outside
• Direct visual connection to outdoor activities on athletic fields and historic courtyard.

3. Flexible Theatre/Assembly: Purposely programmed to allow for varied programming uses and seating capacities while preserving intimacy.

• Moveable forestage for range of uses from assembly, to choral and instrumental music, dramatic musical theatre.
• Interior and exterior glazing on three sides allows balanced daylight for use for all-school assemblies and rehearsals; automated black out shades darken the room for theatrical performance
• Flexible bench-type seating capacity: 515 for bi-weekly all-school assemblies where lower, middle, and high school students require less seating width than typical adult. 390 adult-sized seating spaces for performances with family audiences

The Winsor School, Lubin O'Donnell Center for Performing Arts and Wellness interior

Fitting this large program on a tight footprint required careful stacking on large volume program elements including: Proscenium Theater; Music; Theater and Dance studios; Fitness spaces; 2-Court Gymnasium and 5 Squash Courts; additional support spaces. Achieving this allowed the campus to grow in place — doubling on size — while remaining on its historic campus in the heart of the city’s institutional district and avoid the much-debated move to the suburbs.

The Winsor School, Lubin O’Donnell Center for Performing Arts and Wellness – Building Information

Architects: William Rawn Associates, Architect, Inc.
Client: The Winsor School
General Contractor: Lee Kennedy Co., Inc.

Theater Consultant: Theatre Projects Consultants
Acoustical Consultant: Threshold Acoustics
Engineer – Structural: Lemessurier Consultants, Inc.
Engineer – MEP: Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering
Cost Consultant: Faithful & Gould
Construction Manager: Lee Kennedy Co., Inc.

Photos © Robert Benson Photography

The Winsor School, Lubin O’Donnell Center for Performing Arts and Wellness images / information received from Chicago Athenaeum

Address: 103 Pilgrim Rd, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Website: The Winsor School, Lubin O’Donnell Center for Performing Arts and Wellness – AIA 2017 Education Facility Design Awards:

“The project features a new 515-seat theater, which serves as the school’s main assembly space, as well as major athletic and recreation facilities, including a two-court gymnasium, five squash courts, and physical education spaces. Other program elements include rehearsal and teaching areas for drama, dance, music, and health and wellness.”

William Rawn Associates, Architect, Inc.


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The Winsor School Boston, Massachusetts, USA – page

Website: The Winsor School in Boston