Marin Country Day School Master Plan

Corte Madera, CA

Beginning with the Master Plan, we studied the broader systems, ecological and human, that form the 37-acre campus.

CMG has collaborated with Marin Country Day School and EHDD architects since 2006, initially developing a 25 year plan for the existing K-8 private school, and subsequently designing Phase 1 and Phase 2 implementation of the plan. The school’s campus is nestled in a canyon formed by the serpentine ridges of Ring Mountain. Historically, the valley was filled with meandering streams and tidal marsh, draining the 70 acre Ring Mountain watershed into the San Francisco Bay.

Protecting and restoring this ecosystem and providing opportunities for students to interact and learn from the habitat are a driving pedagogy in the development of the school. A goal was to identify curriculum connections to the material fabric of the campus that include opportunities for native habitat restoration, educational hydrological relationships, and academic ritual. To this end, working with a biologist, existing seasonal streams, native grasslands and forest were surveyed and integrated into the master plan. We collaborated with EHDD on building massing and the structure of campus open space, circulation, and ecosystem integration.

The new organization of the campus open space provides a refreshed and unique identity to the 50 year old campus by creating a purpose for all exterior environments. Phase 1 of the Master Plan, including the campus entrance and a new administration building were completed in 2008. Phase 2, completed in 2010, redesigned  the east side of the campus, including a new Learning Resource Center, Lower, Middle and Upper School Art Studios, Lower Middle and Upper School Classroom renovations, the Step Up Amphitheatre, a new Lower School Playground, and a Creek Restoration of the perennial stream running along the eastern length of the valley.