Andover, Massachusetts


The Brooks School, a coeducational independent school, places the arts at the core of its mission to foster a warm, close-knit community on its 270-acre campus. ABA’s design for a new Center for the Arts brings the visual and performing arts programs together, placing them at the heart of the residential campus to a space where the entire school community can gather, learn, and bond.

The Center’s east wing features a double-height entrance and connects to the 380-seat proscenium and 70-seat black box theaters. The theaters share a scene shop, a green room, costume shops, and changing rooms. The west wing is accessed from the school’s Main Street and includes state-of-the-art music classrooms, a flexible digital-media recording studio, and a ceramics studio. The studios for 2D and 3D arts showcase floor-to-ceiling glass walls that provide abundant daylight.

Connecting all the spaces is a 17-foot-wide, two-story “Arts Street” that can accommodate group pinups and impromptu performances. The design maintains the scale of neighboring buildings and allows departments to function independently while remaining connected to one another. The clapboard siding and steeply pitched roofs reflect New England pragmatism, and broad views create an open and luminous presence in the landscape. With the adjacent Student Center and Danforth Gym, the Center defines an outdoor courtyard and lawn for gatherings, art studio projects, and events.

The Brooks School Center for the Arts was awarded a 2019 BSA Educational Facilities Award.

Location: North Andover, Massachusetts
Project Size: 48,000 sf

Project Team: Thomas Hotaling AIA, Jason Bowers AIA, Stephen Scribner, AIA, Leland Berman AIA (ABA); Nextstage Design (Theater Consultant); Odeh Engineers (Structural); Altieri (MEP); Whitman and Bingham (Civil); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Lighting); Acentech (Acoustics ); Jensen Hughes (Code);  A.T. Leonard and Associates (Landscape); Kalin Associates (Specifications); Jonathan Hillyer (Photographer)