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Pen Y Bryn Upper School Building

Master planning and design for new upper school

  • 42K

    Square Feet

  • 140


  • $14M

    Construction Value

  • Sandy Spring, Maryland

    Sandy Spring, Maryland

Aligning tradition and aspiration to create a path forward

Sandy Spring Friends School, a Quaker institution, wanted to design a new upper school. Their goal? Combine traditions, identity, and sense of place to forge a strong innovative presence in the local and international independent school network.

Our job included inclusive workshops, building tours, and surveys (in collaboration with board members, administrators, educators, parents, and students) to expand thinking, explore trends, identify needs, and establish critical success factors. The school’s values—simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equity, and stewardship (or SPICES)—were a key focus. These ideas shaped the design by highlighting the need for an energy-efficient building that conserves resources and promotes wellness for the community and the occupants. 

The final design combines time-honored teaching and learning traditions with contemporary learning spaces and common areas. Designed to be a net zero ready facility, the new upper school uses highly-efficient building systems in conjunction with a high-performing building envelope to minimize energy consumption. 

Sandy Spring Friends School earned WELL Gold certification recognizing a commitment to occupant health and well-being.

Meet Our Team

Matthew Kavanaugh, Associate, Senior Project Architect

I enjoy designing high performing green schools, where each project can improve the learning environments of children and their communities.
Matthew Kavanaugh Associate, Senior Project Architect Read More

Matthew Kavanaugh

Associate, Senior Project Architect

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