Snyder Center

Phillips Academy Snyder Center

Andover, Massachusetts
A Place for All

When Phillips Academy Andover set out to design a new athletics facility, school leaders knew it had to be inclusive environment where the student-body felt both welcome and well-represented. As educators of some of the country’s brightest young minds, and as trainers of some of the country’s highest performing young athletes, Andover wanted to demonstrate its commitment to their students by providing an unrivaled venue that would support their physical, mental, social and emotional development.

The 21st century athletic center is comprised of a series of interlocking, transparent, and inviting student activity spaces. The high-performance building not only acts as an athletic facility, but as a Student Center and hub for student activity. In fact, the Snyder Center is the first in the country to combine the array of program elements and be designed as a net-zero energy facility.

The Northeast entry connects to the primary campus promenade linking the Athletic campus to the North.
The indoor track can be configured to support tennis matches, intramural basketball, or practice space for outdoor sports like lacrosse, baseball and soccer during inclement weather while also being able to accommodate 2500 people for large community events and convocation.
The lower lobby opens up to the indoor track, allowing for views all the way through the building to the landscape.
The central stair opens off the lower lobby, bisecting the building and connecting to the upper lobby.
The simple material palette frames the all glass exhibition court, creating a jewel box on display.
Exercise for All

At Phillips Academy, all students are required to participate in an athletic activity each semester. The Snyder Center not only provides state-of-the-art venues for competitive sports like track and squash, but it also includes fitness studios and multi-purpose areas for recreation activities serving all members of the community – supporting the “Exercise for All” motto of the school athletics program.

Breakout spaces mediate between the exterior landscape and the interior squash center.
By blurring the boundary between interior and exterior, the building celebrates its relationship to nature and daylight. View corridors provide visual access to the exterior, even within typically isolated program spaces such as the squash courts or the indoor track. The ample light-filled spaces encourage students to study and hang out before and after practices.

We identified the site of the Snyder Center during the Athletic Master Plan which allowed for a strategic relationship to the existing adjacent ice arena. By linking the buildings thermally, the new field house utilizes the waste heat from the new ice making system, resulting in a 50% energy savings. Our approach, coupled with solar optimization, resulted in the ability to achieve Net Zero Energy as well as a LEED Platinum Certification.

Diversity and Inclusion

Branding and graphics, shown throughout the facility, highlight diversity and inclusion and reinforce the message that the Snyder Center is a place for all. We designed custom graphics that depict and represent all activities that could take place in the building – from yoga, dance and ultimate frisbee to track and field events.

The low volume of the south lobby is set into the larger volume beyond, creating an entry terrace.
Simple Materials, Creative Detailing

Taking inspiration from the surrounding site, the building design elevates a simple palette of materials – concrete block, metal panels, and beech wood. In fact, we salvaged beech wood and turned it into benches which bring warmth to break-out spaces throughout the facility, highlighting the character of the wood and the history of the site.

Project Team

David Dymecki
Stephen Sefton
Jennifer Williams