In late fall 2017, Choate Rosemary Hall will break ground on a new 50,000-square-foot auditorium and classroom building designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects. An architectural and programmatic complement to the adjacent Paul Mellon Arts Center, it will also be the realization of a longtime goal of the School's Strategic Plan – to allocate appropriate resources so that the entire school can gather to share, celebrate, and reflect.
The new building's form follows the architectural cues of I.M. Pei, who designed the PMAC in 1972. Walls of board-formed concrete and an aluminum and a glass curtain wall continue the PMAC's materials palette. Built deeply into the hillside slope, the building is sited so as to preserve most of the wooded hillside that encloses the Great Lawn.
The Great Lawn also serves as the central view from the two-story main lobby. To the left, the lobby opens into a series of music practice rooms and classrooms. To the right is the main auditorium. With more than 1,000 seats, the auditorium serves not only as the venue for weekly all-school meetings, but as a performance hall that can accommodate both large and small audiences. Clerestories on three sides provide the auditorium with abundant natural light.
Open stairs in the lobby lead both to the auditorium's balcony and to a new dance studio, with changing rooms and an office for the dance program. At the top of the building, a third level entrance leads from the top rows of the balcony to a woodland path along the hillside.