The Willow School is an independent day school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It was conceived in 2000 as a hands-on learning environment which fosters a connection to the natural world. In building the school, material reuse was seen as a reflection of that ethos. As such, it became a major component of the project’s sustainability strategy. The client and project team were exhaustive in their hunt for reclaimed materials, which came from near and far. They included cypress marine pilings from North Carolina, douglas fir rafters from a factory in Maine, red cedar from a Manhattan rooftop, wood from trees cut down on site, among several others. The structure of the four main buildings as well as many of the windows, doors, and trim is made of reclaimed wood.
Today sustainability is a core part of the school’s curriculum and the buildings have become a teaching tool. The built environment of the Willow School plays an active role in nurturing respect for the environment among students and it demonstrates the principals upon which the institution was founded.
Reclaimed Materials (by application): Doors and Windows, Wood/Lumber
Location: Gladstone, NJ
Date of Completion: 2006
Architect: Ford Farewell Mills & Gatsch
Client: The Willow School
Contractor: Solid Wood Construction
The Willow School