William Maclay - Vermont Architects and Planners
Choices in Sustainability
North Country School/Camp Treetops Performing Arts Center - Lake Placid, NY

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In 2015, Maclay Architects was hired to perform a feasibility study to assess the relative benefits of renovating North Country School and Camp Treetops' campus "Main Building" versus removing that building and replacing it with a new structure. As a result of this feasibility study, key programmatic functions the school and camp desired, but did not have, were identified. Following that study and building on a strong collaborative relationship, Maclay Architects was hired to design a new net zero ready Performing Arts Center for the school and camp.

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The design for the new performing arts center will create spaces for music education, practice rooms, a full-scale scene shop, and theater space for NCS/CCT's lively and creative performances. In addition to housing these key programmatic elements, Maclay Architects recommended that this new performing arts center create a new heart space on the campus; as a "living room" of sorts to bring students and campers together and to create a warm and welcome sense of home.

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Additionally, theater design and acoustics, natural daylighting, views to the surrounding landscape and mountains and healthy, natural, durable and long life materials have been integrated into the playful design concepts. These elements and net zero energy metrics have been incorporated alongside whimsical design elements like slides, playful nooks and peak-through windows, which are proposed to inspire the spirit of the children every day, in a unique North Country School/Camp Treetops way. 

The project is currently actively in the design process. Net zero ready building metrics continue to be integrated in the building and North Country School/Camp Treetops is considering Living Building Challenge Net Zero certification with the Living Futures Institute and Passive House Certification for this project. 

The North Country School/Camp Treetops website tells the story of Walter, the graduate of the school and camper for whom the Performing Arts Center is named. The school and camp also outline their vision for this exciting project, a vision that we're helping them fulfill. Read more at: https://www.northcountryschool.org/support-ncs/walter-p-breeman