Established in 1879, the all-girls Springside School in northwestern Philadelphia merged with the nearby all-boys Chestnut Hill Academy in 2010 and spurred a campus-wide renovation plan over the next two years. NewStudio Architecture, in collaboration with the Philadelphia firm of Wallace Roberts & Todd, helped develop a new combined Lower School (pre-K through 4th grade) for SCH. 

Situated on a 62-acre campus adjacent to Wissahickon Valley Park, SCH serves 1,100 students in a highly competitive private school market. Its unique creek-side location supports the eco-centric educational programming, which includes outdoor education. Prominent views in the two student classroom wings—one wing for the boys and the other for the girls—as well as expansive glass in the center structure help connect students to the environment. The building and especially the classrooms nest within the woods.