Thatcher Dormitory

Project Description

Taking its cues from nearby barns and Thacher’s Western ethos, the new Lower School design makes the most of a magnificent setting, drawing on natural ventilation and natural light to maintain a strong connection with the outdoors. Also taking important design cues from a demanding end user, the building features materials, finishes, and a grassy-courtyard design well suited to the unique needs of the freshman boy. The new structure promises faculty members and students alike a comfortable living space that embodies and illuminates the environmental ethic taught through Thacher’s Camping Program. In addition to incorporating many “green” elements, the new structure will make use of building materials salvaged from its aging predecessor, an energy-inefficient and expensive-to-maintain dormitory completed in 1950.

Environmental Features

  • Concrete floors with embedded radiant heating
  • Energy-Efficient Metal roof that will last the life of the building and help collect water run-off for gray-water irrigation and fire suppression
  • Solar heated water for showers and washing machines with gas backup
  • Use of salvaged oak flooring and stone, reclaimed from the demolition of the other campus buildings
  • Non-toxic and natural paint finishes
  • Natural cooling through cantilevered roof and monitored clerestory window vents
  • Wide overhangs facing the central courtyard provide shade, privacy and rain protection
  • Energy-Efficient lighting sources

Location: Ojai, CA Completed: 2008