The landscape for the new LEED Platinum Dwight Englewood Middle School—a 6-12 private school in Englewood, New Jersey—creates an active and engaging outdoor learning environment and sheltered commons for students, teachers and staff to gather or relax between classes.
A central grove of elm trees stitches together the new middle school with the existing library and athletic fields of the larger campus serving older students in grades 6-12. A classic landscape in a contemporary environment, the grove provides a flexible space for socializing, reading and relaxation, dotted with chairs for classes en plein air. The grove is structured by a series of connective diagonal paths of contrasting bluestone and concrete pavers, choreographing circulation and movement through the space. At the entrance of the new Middle School, a thickly planted courtyard and bioswale bridge welcomes students and invites them to cross a lush microclimate of native trees including sour gum, white oak and fringe tree; and rich groundcover plantings of ferns, sedge and amsonia. Combined with other landscape and drainage features, this swale ensures the school exceeds both municipal and NJ-DEP stormwater management standards. Woodland plantings envelop the building on both sides, including several repurposed boulders discovered on site, intended to reference the geology of the nearby New Jersey Palisades.
The new landscape and building seamlessly integrate with the material language of the surrounding campus while creating a distinct and contemporary space for middle schoolers. Construction was completed in 2020.
- Dwight Englewood School
ME Engineers (MEP)
Silman (Structural Engineer)