Sitting at the base of Mt. Everett, Berkshire Hall serves as the main administrative and classroom building on Berkshire School’s campus. Building off a classical revival completed in 1931, the new addition included state-of-the-art classrooms, the school’s first language lab, offices for the Head of School and administrators, the counseling/guidance department, and a multi-purpose Great Room with an exterior terrace that complements the original design. Upon entering the building, one is received into a two-story space capped by a skylight illuminating the entire center of the facility. This space allows one to look up to the mountain and sky beyond, elevating spirits and inspiring learning in both faculty and students. Bringing new life to the heart of the campus has renewed this important and historic symbol of Berkshire’s academic program and the school’s commitment to preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century.
(Photo credit: Bruce T. Martin Photography)
Part of the renovation included replacing floor levels, providing new toilet rooms and an elevator, allowing universal accessibility for all. Finegold Alexander also implemented several energy and water efficiency measures to align with the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Circulation in the original building was compromised by two central spaces, a gallery and a multi-level raked floor auditorium, that blocked access between the two academic wings. Through selective demolition and inter-flooring, the project unified the building and tied it centrally to the new addition. Intermingling administrative and guidance offices with the academic program has fostered a new sense of community on campus.
The project team sought to maintain much of the building’s classical aesthetic features, replacing the deteriorated stucco on the exterior walls, restoring the iconic cupola, and conserving much of the original fabric within the building.