New Upper School Architect Selected

In a message to the community in May, Board of Trustees Clerk Meg Flax and Head of School Bryan Garman announced the selection of Perkins Eastman as the architects of a new Upper School. The following is their message.

Dear Friends,
It is with great excitement that we announce that Sidwell Friends has selected Perkins Eastman as the architect of record to design the renovation of the Upton Street property (formerly the Washington Home). Leveraging the work from Ennead on the Campus Master Plan, we can now begin in earnest the continued work of envisioning a building that best helps us unify our community and strengthen the educational experience.

Perkins Eastman is a respected architectural firm with extensive education credentials. Their work is both visionary and pragmatic, with years of experience working with academic institutions and listening to their communities. Perkins Eastman's impressive list of clients includes schools around the world as well as many local public and private schools, major universities, and examples of high-level sustainable design and LEED projects.

Keeping in mind the elegance of simplicity, we hope to create the best learning environment and promote the well-being of our students, faculty and staff by designing spaces that provide opportunities for reflection, social interaction, and experimentation. Throughout the summer, Perkins Eastman will study and survey the property, and over the course of the fall and into early 2020 will lead our community through the entitlement and design process. They will solicit feedback from you in order to determine our design needs and will invite broad community participation. We encourage you to be actively involved throughout this process.

Perkins Eastman was chosen through an extensive, competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process. After completing a Campus Master Plan Study last summer and work in the fall, we then invited a dozen architectural and engineering firms in the winter to present their best thinking on how they might transform this property into a place that would aesthetically complement the existing campus, further our commitment to sustainable design, and provide well-designed, innovative learning spaces for our students and teachers. After meeting so many qualified and talented architects, we made the final selection based on the quality and integrity of Perkins Eastman's work and their ability to understand our community, the defining qualities of our education, and our vision for the future. The Real Estate/Campus Master Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees, clerked by Trustee Jair Lynch '89, and the Architecture and Engineering Subcommittee, clerked by Trustee Charis Drant, have worked diligently over the past months, visiting other schools, hearing proposals, and conducting interviews.

This project is made possible through the generosity of leadership donors and future donors. Their support ensures our continued ability to deliver the highest caliber of teaching and learning in the context of a values-based Quaker education. Guided by our strategic plan, Lead in the Light, and with the support of our philanthropic partners, we will continue providing an education that fosters personal, social, and intellectual growth—only improved by a deeper commitment to personal and community well-being—so that we help our students learn to live with courage, conscience, caring, and conviction. This is how we will let our lives speak.

We invite you to learn more about Perkins Eastman at

It is time for Sidwell Friends to lead in the Light.

In friendship,

Meg Flax
Clerk, Board of Trustees

Bryan K. Garman
Head of School

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