Thumbnail final olcott loomis exterior3 Exterior main entrance RT m

Olcott Athletic Center

The Loomis Chaffee School
Windsor, CT
59,000 SF
June 2002
Grade Level
K-12 Education Athletics Independent Schools Architecture Interiors Planning

A master plan of additions and renovations, knitting together a disparate group of existing athletic facilities into an integrated athletic center, has transformed the campus of this prestigious private New England secondary school.

The existing main campus quadrangle is a wonderful early 20th-century composition of Neo-Georgian academic and residential buildings with clear ties to the Jeffersonian academic village model. However, existing athletic structures were of undistinguished architectural quality. By pursuing an architectural language rooted in Georgian precedent, but scaled to a more monumental order, the new athletic center is both contextually resonant of the best campus precedent, and attains a sense of weight appropriate to the need for a hierarchically ordered overall composition.


Principle new program elements included a multi-use double gymnasium suitable for all campus meetings, fitness center, squash courts, locker, team rooms, and trainers’ suite as well as administrative offices and classrooms. Renovations included converting an existing gym to wrestling and exercise, as well as upgrading systems and finishes at the pool.

Fundamental to unifying the complex is the armature of new public circulation, anchored at its center by a two-story lanterned rotunda, and tying together the three main public entries. Through the use of substantial glazed areas, the circulation provides views to and between the main activity spaces, encouraging communication and bringing a sense of openness to the very large floor area.

Full width loomis exterior