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Canterbury School - Steele Hall

In 2008, Canterbury School renovated the 32,000 sf Steele Hall and constructed two additions which together added an additional 10,000 sf of space. The expanded facility includes a library and information commons, an admissions suite, business administration, academic advising, lounges for faculty and students, a 6,000 sf dining room, servery and kitchen.

Dining facilities are of great importance to boarding schools, since the school community -students, faculty and staff - comes together for three meals a day in this space. Canterbury’s existing circa 1980 dining room suffered from poor lighting and minimal, slot windows. BRB’s expansion includes a glass pavilion that extends out into the sloping woods beyond, placing the dining patrons at eye level with the tree canopy to the west. BRB also provided a terrace to the south that allows for panoramic views of the campus.

The design of the aluminum and glass curtain wall is inspired by the collegiate gothic architecture prevalent elsewhere on Canterbury’s campus. Deep vertical fins extend from outside to inside the building, creating effects of indirect lighting similar to that of a gothic cathedral. These fins also break the sizeable room into a more intimate scale at the periphery. A wood ceiling and ample luminous light sources create a warm and pleasing environment for the entire Canterbury community.