The Barn was conceived as part of a strategic campus vision plan that Utile developed for The Belmont Day School. The building contains a flexible, 14,000 square foot indoor athletics fieldhouse with two, dual-use basketball and volleyball courts as well as a 13,000 square foot two-story headhouse composed of offices, locker rooms, and five workshop-style classroom spaces for the School’s evolving STEAM programs.
Studio Name: Utile, Inc.
Design Team: Mimi Love, Eric Boatright, Charlotte Lipschitz, Keith Case
Area: 27,641 SF
Location: Belmont, Massachusetts, United States
Stantec (Civil Engineering & Landscape Architecture)
SGH (Structural Engineering)
RFS Engineering (MEP/FP & Lighting)
Building, Fire & Access, Inc. (Code Consulting)
Shawmut Design & Construction (General Contracting)
Photography Credits: John Horner Photography
Large, glass garage doors in the fieldhouse create a direct connection to the surrounding landscape. These doors, along with operable clerestory windows offer passive cooling to the fieldhouse while rooftop PV panels provide a portion of the building’s power.
The Barn negotiates between two structural systems. The fieldhouse is a pre-engineered steel building with an insulated metal panel wall system. It spans over the head house, which embraces this corrugated metal cladding and exposed structure in a stick-built, steel classroom building. In this negotiation, the Barn molds key programmatic and spatial relationships into a building where regularity leads to cost efficiency while small customized insertions act at the scale of the individual student to tailor the space for a variety of teaching and learning styles.
The playful composition of window openings and custom millwork offer each of the classrooms a unique identity, plenty of access to natural light, and views back to the campus. The generous circulation spaces outside the classrooms mediate between focused learning areas and the gym activity. These double as breakout spaces for group work and have the capacity to host larger gatherings and gallery space.
Utile is a Boston-based design firm build like a think tank. We thrive on solving complex urban problems in intelligent, pragmatic ways. From theoretical issues that frame policy to the practical implementation of architectural commissions, we develop a rigorous, research-based approach to finding the best answers. Our work yields fresh ways to think about how we develop and build our cities, presented with useful, compelling clarity (it’s why we’re called Utile).