New Trier High School utilizes a variety of Arden Studio products in a manner that complements the vision of the architects and the school
New Trier High School, a nationally acclaimed high school located in Winnetka, Illinois was in need of a renovation. Aging facilities were not keeping up with the district’s desire to provide spaces that support contemporary teaching and learning methods.
The school chose to replace three inefficient neighboring buildings, connected to an existing building within the same footprint, with a new, 280,000-square-foot addition. To do so, multidisciplinary, Chicago-based firm, Wight & Company was employed to design a modernized space that would provide students with an educational and cultural experience set to rival any collegiate environment. Known for their dedication to enriching the human experience while elevating the spirit of community, Wight was a perfect choice. To pay tribute to the school’s rich past and fit into the surrounding, historic residential neighborhood, the addition uses materials consistent with the existing building. A striking, new modern glass entrance to the north reinterprets the school’s iconic art deco tower at the school’s main point of entry. Materials such as brick, stone, and terracotta were used throughout the space to seamlessly blend new and old.
In the interiors, a good balance of multipurpose spaces, specialized learning studios, and core classrooms were integrated into the design. Communal spaces such as the cafeteria and library as well as creative open spaces encourage gatherings and collaboration. True to its mission, New Trier High School focuses on stimulating and challenging its students. “It’s incredibly gratifying to be part of a company that dedicates itself to evolving and improving learning and teaching experiences for both educators and students—whether that consists of progressive collaborative tools or versatile space partitions that support and inspire new avenues of study. We are thrilled to incorporate our product into such a state-of-the-art, award-winning campus, such as New Trier High School,” says Martijn Loerakker, Sr. Brand and Marketing Manager, Arden Studio.
Currently, New Trier High School utilizes a variety of Arden Studio products in a manner that complements the vision of the architects and the school. The cafeteria space features a dynamic installation of Walscape™ Panels displaying a high-resolution print of New Trier’s logo and mascot. The vibrant blue and green colors serve to infuse the space with warmth and add a touch of school spirit through the use of the school’s brand. Likewise, next to the library, on a higher floor, a multipurpose area lays claim to Haven™ Organic Partitions—flexible space dividers that can be moved and arranged to provide casual (or impromptu) gathering zones and privacy when needed. The tempered glass partitions feature a colorfully printed pattern that reflects the natural world, instilling a sense of calm and adding an element of biophilia within the space. Also used as a teaching spot, the space integrates the multifunctional Mobl™ panels as well. Designed to serve as both a writing surface and a movable visual and acoustic privacy screen, the use of the panels allows for a variety of learning strategies and student agency—an important element at New Trier, where it’s a priority for students to advocate for themselves and retain control of their learning environment.
In a quiet hallway, the Haven Space Partitions, fitted with Arden Studio’s large Rosemary print to complement the school’s colors, spark creativity and contemplation—they can also be moved to suit students' needs. Finally, in the school’s Maker Space—an area that is designed to specifically enable student agency while also promoting teamwork and the sharing of ideas, Arden Studio’s multifunctional Magnetic Mobl collaboration panels are positioned throughout. A durable glass writing surface on wheels with acoustic sound absorbing capabilities, the panels adhere to the room’s multifaceted nature. With classes in everything from fashion to architecture among other STEM classes, the magnetic boards are optimized for organization and/or inspiration—materials can be posted on the board throughout students’ varying work processes.
New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL
Architecture & Interior Design
Wight & Company, Chicago
James Steinkamp Photography