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The Masters School 

The Masters School 

The Masters School was founded in 1877 as a boarding school for girls. In 1996, the school became coeducational and embarked on a program of planning and expansion for its sloping, 96-acre site. Today, the school serves approximately 650 students in grades 5 through 12.

The following completed projects helped Masters transition successfully from an all-girls' school to a co-ed institution:

  • Upper School renovation and Middle School renovation/expansion to support Masters' pedagogical model of Harkness tables in all classrooms, for all subjects.

  • Morris Hall Science and Technology Building:  a new 21,000 sf Gothic Revival science and technology building which forms the edge to the campus' main quadrangle.

  • Fonseca Center for Athletics and Arts: a new 78,000 sf interdisciplinary building organized to foster interaction between students with diverse interests, by maximizing transparency to provide visibility throughout the building.

  • Strayer Hall:  New lockers facilities for male students

  • New Faculty Housing

  • Expanded Dormitories and a new Health Center

  • New Athletic Fields and Track

Project Information

The Masters School

Dobbs Ferry, NY

  • ​​Campus Planning

  • Renovation

  • Transformation

  • New Construction / LEED Gold

  • Multiple Projects

  • 2017 AIA Westchester/Hudson Valley Citation

  • 2016 Learning by Design Citation of Excellence


  • 2007 American School & University Outstanding Building

Honors and Awards


Campus Planning

The Masters School is organized as a group of academic buildings, the campus core, surrounded by dormitories, playing fields and woodlands. The transformation of the campus has been accomplished in phases.  It includes the design of playing fields, a new science building, a new middle school that incorporates the former science building, expanded dormitories, and a new Arts and Athletics Center. 

We replaced an open parking lot with Morris Hall, a new Gothic Revival science and technology building which balances the mass and scale of Masters Hall directly across the quad.  These buildings define the edge of an open green that is clearly the campus' main quadrangle.

When we designed the new Fonseca Center for Arts and Athletics, we further enhanced the campus plan. Fonseca is connected to the existing gym and music building, Strayer Hall.  The placement of the new Center defines a south-facing quadrangle used for passive recreation and outdoor dining.  

Fonseca Center


The Fonseca Center for Athletics and Arts is the school's community center.  This new 78,000 sf interdisciplinary building is organized to foster interaction between students with diverse interests, by maximizing transparency and visibility throughout the building.  


New athletic spaces include four squash courts, a six-lane competition swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fencing studio, a fitness center, a suspended indoor running track, a gymnasium with a competition basketball court, two practice courts, two volleyball courts, and spaces for dance and aerobics.  Arts spaces include an experimental theatre, a music room, graphic arts studios and an art gallery. There is a café, lounges on two floors, and places for serendipitous gathering.

The building is carefully integrated with the surrounding outdoor spaces including an athletic field to the south, an entry courtyard on the north, and an exterior courtyard on the west adjacent to the new café and the pre-existing gymnasium. The LEED Gold building is heated and cooled by an efficient mechanical system and is energized by two arrays of photovoltaic panels. Every interior space has access to views and natural light.

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