Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart
Princeton, NJ

The $14-million master plan for this unique, modern landmark complex continued a 15-year effort to identify the future educational and physical needs of this unique, all-girl school. It sought to update and adapt new uses to parts of the existing complex which included a convent no longer in use. It envisioned a new performing arts center, a visual arts wing, a new comprehensive athletic complex and new classrooms in addition to the programmatic completion of noted architect Jean Labatut’s original 1961 design.


Project scope included $9-million in construction of new academic facilities and renovations identified in the master plan and design by our office as well as the programming of the $5-million Cor-Unum Performing Arts Center – Labatut’s hereto unfulfilled spiritual center of the school; finally executed as a performing arts center by Venturi and Scott-Brown.

New additions to the original school buildings include: Lower and Middle School classroom additions; the new Science Wing, home of the new multi-grade level laboratories; Upper School classroom additions, and the Fine Arts Wing / Athletic Complex housing upper level studios at entrance level and full fitness center below. Also included are the new parking areas which consistent with the original design were integrated into the woods and topography in order to mitigate its impact.

The site’s particular topography also facilitated mitigating the visual impact of large volume areas down hill from the main entrance level which faces north. New construction visible from the entrance level was designed to be open and transparent – ideal for the new art studios – while downhill additions were punctured and opaque – systematically suited for their classroom functions.

Attention to detail and materials ensured consistency with the original design without stressing the stated budget goals. As a result, the use of plain concrete block, glazed brick bands and aluminum milled storefronts was defined in the Master Plan to echo the glazed brick and cast concrete expression of the original buildings.

In appreciation, the school’s board and administration publicly recognized with an award our office’s effort in meeting program, budget and schedule requirements while extending Labatut’s inventive vision.

CLIENT: Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart


^ Hide details