The Studios is designed by Randolph parent and architect Chris Berg, who worked with the board and the staff to determine the school’s needs and develop a thoughtful approach to expansion. Berg said he looked for a design that “complements the Randolph curriculum, a way to bring into built form the way that the children learn, play and grow; to celebrate things like the rituals of transition, entry, arrival and having special places for different functions that will change as the children age.”
The Studios is:
- Pete and Toshi’s Tap Along Shack, celebrating Randolph’s commitment to singing, moving and music-making together.
- Teachers’ Library, for our precious collection of children’s literature.
- The Founders Art Studio, honoring the parents and teachers whose vision created the Randolph School in 1963.
- Alligator’s Walk, a wrap-around porch honoring Eric Tomlins and named for one of his favorite songs. During performances in the amphitheater, this porch will provide seating for those unable to access the stone amphitheater below.
- Pillars of Support, represented by ten columns that straddle the porch and hold up the building’s west side.
- Grandfriends’ Gallery, the building’s entryway with two accessible bathrooms that will double as a public exhibition space where Randolph children can share their art with all who use the building.
The single story building will be across from the carriage house and will wrap around the upper part of the amphitheater. “It was important for the building to engage the natural environment,” said Berg. “We saw the amphitheater as the chance to make this connection. It already embodies these characteristics; it is both outdoors (stone and sky), as well as indoors, with qualities of warmth and enclosure. The amphitheater also has a certain legacy of memories and traditions (school photos, skits, plays, messages of both welcome and departure) which is an important part of the Randolph community. We tried to tap into that rich history and use it as a foundation for the future.”
The building will also have a wrap-around porch, facing the amphitheater, which will allow those with limited mobility to participate in amphitheater events. Berg said: “We hope that the new building will encourage spontaneous happenings as well as provide a backdrop to formal school events. The form of the building reinforces that relationship by opening up to the amphitheater and beginning to enclose it. The wrap-around porch, while reminiscent of the Main Building, leads people into and around the amphitheater.”