This is part one of our case study of Miller Bicentennial Hall. Part two will explore the context and structure of the design.
Multi-use learning community
Kimball Union Academy, a private boarding and day school founded in 1813, occupies a 1300-acre campus in Meriden, New Hampshire, 13 miles from Dartmouth College. The Miller Building, built in 1963, served multiple purposes throughout its life, including housing the dining hall and student center. UK Architects completed the final phase of renovations on the building in 2013, the 50th Anniversary of the original construction and the 200th Anniversary of Kimball Union Academy. The three-story Miller Bicentennial Hall now houses 19 humanities classrooms, a library and learning center, state-of-the-art technology classrooms and offices, a multi-media classroom, exhibit spaces, individual and group study spaces, and a boardroom. The building is sustainable and energy efficient, upholding one of Kimball Union’s core community values: concern for the environment. The building also offers spaces for private study and collaborative work, reflecting the school’s mission statement: “Mastery, Creativity, Responsibility and Leadership.”
Creating opportunities for learning through social interaction
Kimball Union Academy emphasizes community learning that occurs not only in the classroom, but also through chance meetings and social engagement. To accommodate this commitment to collaboration, UK Architects implemented locations throughout the building where students and faculty who are not in class can find places to sit and engage with each other. The library is the central hub of the building, both theoretically and physically. Students have access to community spaces with large tables that are ideal for group projects, as well as private rooms with windows for more focused or individualized endeavors. The humanities classrooms surround the library, allowing for the unique integration of class curriculum and library resources.