Lawrenceville Buildings Featured and Celebrated

Lawrenceville’s Gruss Center for Art and Design (GCAD) and Abbott Dining Hall (Abbott) were recently honored with prestigious architectural awards.

Lawrenceville’s Gruss Center for Art and Design (GCAD) and Abbott Dining Hall (Abbott) were recently honored with prestigious architectural awards. GCAD, designed by the Boston-based Sasaki firm, was featured in the Architectural Record’s recent January issue, and Abbott, designed by Voith and Mactavish Architects LLP, won the 2020 Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s (ICAA) Stanford White Award in December. Architectural Record is an American monthly magazine dedicated to architecture and interior design, and the ICAA’s annual Stanford White Awards recognizes projects in architecture, interiors, landscape, urbanism, and building artisanship in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

When asked about the School’s feature in Architectural Record, Lawrenceville’s Head of School Stephen Murray H’54 ’55 ’65 ’16 P’16 ’21 said,“ It’s a huge honor. I mean it. As far as I understand, it is one of the premier architectural digests or recognitions to be featured...It’s also great for Lawrenceville to have a building that is recognized that way.”

Murray also added that his favorite part of GCAD is its “beautiful” design. “When you walk past a traditional building, you don’t know what is going on inside...However, when you walk past GCAD, you know exactly what is going on. Students are in the workshop [or] they are on the laser cutter. The elements of the design really contribute toward the theme of the building, and I think that got the attention of the Architectural Record,” he said.

In contrast to GCAD, Murray believes that Abbott has a much more different feel to it. “Abbott is all about honoring tradition. It’s all about honoring other iconic buildings on campus,” Murray said. According to Murray, the brickwork, windows, and wooden trusses of Abbott are a reference to several other buildings on campus, including the Chapel and Upper House to promote unity in the architecture throughout the School.

Since it was constructed in 1962, Murray explained how Abbott has become “a place that honors the coming together to have meals and draw people together.” During the hybrid Fall Term, it continued to be a place that V Formers could gather. “It’s evolved into a place where students have gathered between meal times to study and spend time together, and it’s a very uplifting place to be [in],” Murray said.

He commented that the School is “deeply honored, along with our partners at Voith & Mactavish, to receive this award. A lot of thought went into what would not only make this building beautiful, but also what would make it Lawrenceville.”

Looking towards the future, Murray offered his aspirations for the new Tsai Field House: “The premise of that design was to bring dining and fitness and wellness all together in a building that would pull us together...The Tsai Field House really anchors that part of campus and pulls us all together with dining and fitness and wellness.” With its elite athletic facility and a welcoming community space, “inclusivity is really at the heart of the design,” explained Murray. Through the upcoming construction of the Tsai Field House, Murray hopes to continue modernizing Lawrenceville’s campus while preserving the rich legacy of the institution “in a way that honors school history.”


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