Page & Turnbull has announced the completion of a new project for The Webb Schools, a boarding school for grades 9 through 12 on a 150-acre campus in Claremont, California. Recently completed, the Hooper Community Center preserves its historic architecture while “transforming the facility into a modern, inclusive hub for the school community with a bright, airy feel that maximizes the use of natural light,” according to The Webb Schools.

The project is the most recent work in the 15-year collaboration between the noted architecture and preservation firm and The Webb Schools, an acclaimed secondary school founded in 1922.

A person walking up some stairs after going through an area with tables

Photo courtesy of Page & Turnbull

Originally built in 1931 as a gymnasium, the Spanish Revival-style building has been reimagined by the design team, led by architect John Lesak, principal-in-charge of Page & Turnbull’s Los Angeles office. The design adapts its two-level footprint by expanding and reorganizing its spaces to reflect the ways students and faculty gather and work. The space is flexible and inviting, accommodating one-on-one interactions, small-group activities and community events.

The 6,500-square-foot redesign celebrates the original architectural elements. It includes Café 1175, clusters of gathering spaces, a welcome desk and a large video wall for multiple gaming contests or community movie nights. The architects salvaged and reclaimed the maple gym flooring for built-in furnishings, new finishes and as flooring at different areas. “We also relocated and reused some of the non-historic art glass and designed the front of the welcome desk as an homage to the building’s roots as a basketball gym,” said John D. Lesak, AIA, FAPT, LEED AP.

A person walking through an area with food

Photo courtesy of Page & Turnbull

A 15-Year Collaboration

Set within a beautiful landscape, The Webb Schools are noted for their historical buildings dating to their beginnings, and Page & Turnbull has been selected to updated, modernize and create state-of-the art settings for academics, arts, housing and athletic facilities. The firm’s Webb Schools projects, in addition to Hooper, include a black box theater, student and faculty residences, and a performing arts center.

In recent years, Page & Turnbull served as architect on a pair of projects that emphasize Webb’s commitment to performing arts. The Copeland Donahue Theater is a 40-person black box theater that blends interior and exterior performances opportunities, including an outdoor venue under a canopy of mature oak trees. The theater’s palette of concrete brick, stucco, wooden windows and doors, and clay tile roofing connects with the campus context.

People walking by the outside of the community center

Photo courtesy of Page & Turnbull

Adjacent to the Copeland Donahue is the Susan A. Nelson Performing Arts Center, originally designed as an auditorium in 1971. Page & Turnbull added balcony seating and increased the total seating capacity by over a third to 400 seats for orchestra, musical theater, drama and dance events. A student art gallery enlivens the lobby, and support spaces include rehearsal rooms, individual practice rooms, dressing rooms and faculty offices.

Page & Turnbull also designed key upgrades to Price Dining Hall and various dormitories and faculty residences, addressing accessibility, telecom networking and other improvements to preserve and enhance these residence halls. They are currently designing renovations for the school’s library and other facilities.