PBDW served for almost twenty years as architects for the Brearley School, one of New York’s most distinguished private schools. Work began with an extensive program and Master Plan phase to organize a complete renovation of the twelve stories and three basement levels of the School’s complex building on 83rd Street and the East River in Manhattan.
The renovation program included two major additions. The first found space for an expanded school library by suspending it in the school’s rear-yard over the building’s auditorium. This ingenious structural solution kept the library exactly at grade, where it could serve all children in the school. The second renovation added two stories of invaluable classroom and office space on top of the school’s ten-story building, integrated with existing facilities by extensions of the school’s two large elevators.
The design of the addition in brick and curtain wall transformed and completed the 1928 building by Benjamin Morris. The project was conceived, designed, and completed – including the reinforcing of the existing structure and the raising of the elevators – in sixteen months. During the nineteen year implementation of the program the School was able to operate without the loss of a single day of scheduled classes.