The Hockaday School is a private college preparatory school for girls. Located on a scenic campus populated with sprawling oak trees, the facilities include lower and upper schools, an academic research center, a wellness center, and a fine arts center.
When the school’s officials invited Overland to create a new master plan for their campus, they knew that they had outgrown the limitations of structures that were designed in the 1950s. Overland’s approach was to change the entire complexion of the campus by implementing a series of strategic campus-wide alterations and additions.
Recognizing that the existing buildings created an insular environment, Overland devised a plan to make student life inside the buildings visible from the outdoors, and vice versa, by opening up the interiors to the beautiful campus landscape. The design team also saw an opportunity to create what Principal in Charge Tim Blonkvist describes as “a center of gravity for the campus” with the Academic Research Center, which is located at the intersection of the campus’ many components.
The new libraries more than exceed all of the requirements for our library program, including space, functionality and quality. Moreover, they have already made a tremendous difference in the lives of our students, faculty and staff.
The Academic Research Center includes the Lower and Upper School libraries, computer resources, a multimedia boardroom, an audiovisual center, and a conference center. Situated at the lower level, the Lower School library is an egg-shaped space that accommodates busy foot traffic. Its sunken oval area provides an intimate setting for classes and readings. A stairway lit by natural daylight leads to the Upper School library, where open stacks face a bilevel structure that houses support staff, student offices, and event spaces. These areas are also illuminated by natural daylight that filters in through clerestory windows and an entire wall of glass that overlooks the main campus courtyard.
In designing additions for the Lower and Upper School buildings, Overland took into account the nature of the existing structures. For the Lower School addition, the design team built a culminating extension that responds to the steeply sloped roofs and large expanses of glass that are tied to exterior spaces. For the Upper School addition, the team upgraded the quality of hallways, added glass sections to bring in more natural daylight, and designed a fitness area.
The new Wellness Center, located at the end of the campus, is an open, expansive structure that looks out upon the campus’s scenic duck ponds and running trails so that students and families can feel a connection to nature while exercising or training for athletics.
In renovating the Hockaday campus, Overland transformed an outdated architectural style that concealed the school’s activities into one that celebrates its lively energy. According to Blonkvist, “These changes have had profound implications for the school’s culture and vibrancy.”
- AIA/AASA Committee on Architecture for Education Citation Honoree 2007
- AIA/ALA Library Building Award of Excellence 2003
- AIA Dallas Design Honor Award 2002
- AIA San Antonio Merit Award 2002
- Texas Architect, “Smart Growth,” January 2006
- Europaconcorsi, “The Hockaday School,” October 2005
- The Dallas Morning News, “Minds Over Matter,” June 2003
- American Libraries, “Interiors Showcase,” April 2003
IN ASSOCIATION WITH GOOD FULTON & FARRELL ARCHITECTS