Conceived as a barn within an English Village setting, the new O’Neill Gymnasium settles quietly into the background on the Rosemont School of the Holy Child campus. Although zoning would have permitted a taller building, the design sinks more than 40 percent of the structure below grade, to reduce its scale and permit circulation between the academic center and the gym. The gym’s exterior walls fold inward to reveal bands of clerestory windows. These bring daylight indoors while minimizing light that escapes during nighttime events. The architecture reinforces campus hierarchy by not literally or figuratively overshadowing the historic mansion but deferring quietly. BKP designed the project in collaboration with Richard Conway Meyer Architect.
Context, the Journal of AIA Philadelphia: Rosemont School of the Holy Child O’Neill Gymnasium
Rosemont School of the Holy Child
13,000 square feet
2009 Lower Merion Township Historic Preservation Award
Images © Barry Halkin