Built in 1954, the gymnasium and cafeteria at Merion Mercy Academy hadn’t changed a bit since it had opened, but the rest of the world had. The gym no longer met the physical requirements for athletic competitions, and the cafeteria space was drab and squat, with limited offerings due to the undersized and outdated kitchen space. The school needed to improve these spaces, but development opportunities on the tight site were limited.
Within that tight site and even tighter budget, MAI designed a new light-filled, two-story addition, providing the school with a soaring new multi-purpose activity space. It was conceived not only as a state of the art space for athletics, but as a setting for the many large functions the school hosts throughout the year. The activity center entrance flows directly into a new café dining pavilion, with an outdoor garden space and views of the natural setting beyond.
The second floor is the new home of the Frances M. Maguire Art & Design Gallery, and multiple arts and maker space classrooms, expanding MMA’s position as a leader in fine arts and design education.