St. Timothy’s School – The Gerry Sisters Five Arts and Student Center

  • area / size 27,800 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • The S/L/A/M Collaborative was engaged by St. Timothy’s School, a a four-year private all-girls boarding high school, to design their Gerry Sisters Five Arts and Student Center in Stevenson, Maryland.

    The Gerry Sisters Five Arts and Student Center transforms the former two-story Hannah More Art Center into a new and expanded three-story contemporary building cast as a modernist gem on the Ridge. A vision to emulate and be respectful of the historic Carter House, a French mansion on the campus, the client’s passion for craft began the conversation with the design team to reinterpret the area’s natural materials of copper, butler stone and cedar and forms of barn from other buildings on campus, in a unique way.

    The copper cladding, used in a contemporary way, was detailed and installed as flat-seam using horizontal coursing of varied heights to give this monolithic sheet material a sense of texture and scale on a rather large façade. The coursing pattern was carefully laid out to align with horizontal coursing joints of adjacent brick and fiber cement exterior finishes.

    This inspired a village with a variety of architectural styles–light and airy buildings for people to gather and look out –providing clues in the materials and form that emulates the campus history and links them together. The design rendered the Center a contemporary façade and courtyard that incorporates copper, butler stone and cedar used in the adjacent buildings. Located between the Center and dining facility, the courtyard was redesigned with ornamental trees, benches and pavers, creating a welcoming outdoor space to relax in between classes or use as performance space.

    The iconic “Fearless Girl” sculpture by Kristen Visbal is prominently place in the Center’s courtyard is a statement of power. Her strong stance affirms the facility’s connection to campus and place to look out over the campus and athletic fields.

    The 27,800-SF Center houses the school’s literature, theatre, dance, visual arts, music departments, and a vibrant maker space on the ground level. Thomas Moser Furniture, high-end traditional shaker pieces, fills classrooms and common areas. A centerpiece of the space is a refurbished 330-seat theater featuring new seats, lighting and A/V.  Upgrades also include a full-service Health and Wellness Center, additional classroom space for the English Department, and an expanded 1,000 SF Art Gallery benefitting both students and visiting artists’ work from the surrounding community.

    SLAM’s previous work on campus includes the design of The Commons and Redland Café and Dixon Hall, the main Academic Building.

    Architect: The S/L/A/M Collaborative
    Contractor: The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
    Photography: Alain Jaramillo