Architecture Research Office (ARO) is bringing a modern addition to Riverdale Country School’s historic river campus. The planned 22,000-square-foot academic building will replace the school’s 1960s-era Perkins Building. The two-story structure attempts to negotiate a gradient change by tucking itself into a hillside while still allowing direct outdoor access for many of the classrooms. ARO worked with Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects to further connect the building to the landscape with appropriate plantings and paving materials.
The structure’s base is clad in blue-toned, lightweight concrete panels. A vertical zinc-paneled rain screen wraps around its second story. On the building’s south side, the facade lifts up like a piece of fabric, revealing a curved expanse of glass that brings daylight into the cafeteria.
Kim Yao, a principal at ARO, said the blue tones in the facade are intended to evoke the nearby Hudson River while the zinc panels were selected to complement the campus’ older brick buildings. The new space includes a multi-purpose theater, student center with a full-service kitchen and cafeteria, and classrooms.