Brunswick School Edwards Campus Master Plan

Project Facts
Project Facts

Founded in 1902, the Brunswick School is one of the most prestigious preparatory academies in New England. With buildings scattered throughout Greenwich, Connecticut, the private institution hired SOM to design a master plan for a new central campus. The 104-acre wooded site would contain facilities for pre-kindergarten through middle school students, along with athletic venues for the high school.

Among the most important planning goals were establishing a distinct identity, creating a campus green, and retaining trees, as well as reconciling vehicular, pedestrian, and open space requirements. Particular challenges included protecting wetlands on the site and orienting the buildings in a way that mitigates noise and visual impacts from a nearby regional airport. The master plan was finished in 2006, and since then, SOM has completed a number of buildings on the new campus.

Brunswick Masterplan

Athletic Center

This athletic complex was designed to accommodate middle and upper school students at the Brunswick School, one of New England’s most prestigious private institutions. The center features an elegant brick structure that connects two long-span spaces: an NCAA regulation-size hockey rink on one side, and basketball courts on the other. The complex also features eight regulation squash courts, a weight training area, locker rooms, and a trophy reception hall.

Edwards Middle School

In designing a new building for a prestigious preparatory school founded in 1902, SOM sought to project a sense of timeless beauty and permanence. The Brunswick Middle School facility incorporates classrooms, a computer room, an auditorium, a cafeteria, science laboratories, a library, and administrative offices. These spaces are skillfully integrated and organized to enhance the educational experience for students, faculty, and staff.

The traditional red brick schoolhouse helps delineate two areas of campus. On one side, the building overlooks a central green (around which SOM subsequently designed and placed other facilities), as well as an oval drive forming the hub of the school’s pedestrian and vehicular circulation system. The opposite facade provides views of athletic fields that lie to the rear of the new schoolhouse.

Lower School and Gymnasium

For the Lower School and Gymnasium, creating didactic architecture was a key goal. The building is organized around a central atrium, where suspended beneath a great skylight is a full-size, museum-quality replica of a Tyrannosaurus rex — a remarkable feature that evokes awe among the young students. Moreover, two 400-gallon aquariums form an entry foyer and become an extension of the science program.

Glass walls in the atrium reveal the school’s library, cafeteria, and rooms for art and music. Classrooms are clustered around halls filled with natural light, while a large room that doubles as a gymnasium and theater looks out toward a new football stadium. Exposed structural wood trusses give the building a warm materiality and help it blend with its wooded surroundings.

Upper School Renovation

The Brunswick Upper School campus began as a single building in the early 1900s. Over the decades, various additions to the grounds have introduced new vocabularies and materials, resulting in an amalgamation of buildings. This project entailed the repurposing of two facilities and the creation of a passageway that would make the campus feel more cohesive.

The design team transformed an old gymnasium into a performing arts center and an adjacent building into a visual arts hub. At the heart of the campus, they inserted a glass-encased pathway that connects the two art facilities and three additional structures. The walkway has greatly improved circulation while also helping unify the campus architecture.

The Upper School Renovation is one of several projects SOM has completed for the venerable New England preparatory school. The others include a master plan for the school’s lower and middle school campus and several other buildings.

Field House

With its slender barn-like form, the building provides 31,000 square feet of flexible indoor practice space for the Brunswick School’s competitive athletic program. In addition to a gymnasium, the well-equipped complex contains a training room, director’s office, and separate locker rooms for students and coaches.

The versatile main hall features four basketball courts, which can alternatively transition into tennis courts or a wrestling center. High ceiling clearances allow for indoor lacrosse and football practice, while a central skylight provides natural light throughout the day. Subtly integrated into its context, the Field House’s facade creates an understated backdrop for Brunswick’s new football field.


The Brunswick Natatorium serves a dual athletic purpose by combining an indoor swimming pool and a rooftop football field on a single footprint. The building accommodates this multipurpose program through a combined architecture and landscape solution that contains much of the pool’s volume below ground, with the upper portion at the level of the plaza entrance and adjacent roadway.

The rooftop field functions as a landscape extension of adjacent lawns and playing fields, giving the stone-clad exterior of the structure the sense of an elegant, hillside retaining wall. Generous windows provide views of the interior, revealing the life inside the building while creating a sense of anticipation along the pedestrian sidewalk approach to the natatorium’s entrance.

At 21,000 square feet, the Natatorium incorporates an 8-lane, 25-yard pool, with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) pool access, two 1-meter diving boards, and a hydraulic movable floor to allow for both youth instruction and water polo. The facility also includes locker rooms, general storage, pool equipment storage, offices, and seating for 75 spectators above the pool deck.

The compact building minimizes its impact on the campus, preserving site area for future expansion, while leveraging existing infrastructure. One corner of the natatorium connects to the Middle School building, providing access to its bathrooms and to the cafeteria, which can be used for concessions during swimming events. The design team sourced stone from quarries used for other campus projects, further integrating the building with the natural and built environment of the campus.