Lakewood Prep Arts Center

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Lakewood Prep Art Center
Howell, NJ
Performing Art Center/ Art Classrooms

Lakewood Prep was started in the town of Lakewood, adjacent to its current location in Howell. Lakewood and Howell were well-known as resort towns, once frequented by Rockefellers and Spring Training baseball teams, and are now home to a large Hasidic population, one Minor League baseball team, and a few remaining chicken farms. Route 9 passes near the site, and is currently experiencing tremendous growth, including many Home Centers and other common big box stores, replacing fish stores, radiator repair shops, and chicken farms.

Lakewood Prep was started as an alternative, non-secular private school for the area's growing population, with a focus on educational freedom. The existing infrastructure of Lakewood Prep is not entirely out-moded, but it does represent an ad-hoc approach to growth over the past 35 years. In response, we decided that a new building must address a long-term approach to structuring the school both physically and philosophically.

Working with the client, we developed an approach that will establish a quad system, this building being the last piece of the first campus. The building creates a roughly triangular courtyard, intended to be an academic space as well as the ceremonial center of the school. Along the street-front, the new building will literally bridge to the original school building, creating a stronger and more impressive presence. As the school continues to grow, this approach to developing a unified street façade and a series of academic courtyards will be applied.