Marlborough School Arden Project


Los Angeles, CA


Marlborough School


LPA, Inc.

Project Size

151,000 SF

The completion of the Arden Project saw the culmination of a vision for the school’s future. In total, the completed master plan doubled the size of the campus. The Arden phase added a new garden and performance space, a multi-sport synthetic field, a wellness facility and aquatic center, tennis and basketball courts and increased parking.

Throughout construction, MATT’s team made a constant effort to maintain positive relations with the surrounding community and uphold Marlborough’s obligations to its neighbors vis-a-vis design, construction noise and scheduling. Proactive information was provided to neighborhood committees regarding the impacts of the construction schedule.

To expand campus, the project began with the demolition of the existing pool, tennis courts, soccer field, parking lot and five Marlborough-owned houses adjacent to the school. This allowed room to reorient the existing outdoor courts and build three post-tensioned tennis courts, two of which double as basketball courts. The rest of the additional space became the Caryll Mudd Sprague Aquatics Center.

The new Sprague Center allows Marlborough to provide top-notch service to its athletics and fitness programs. The 25 x 33 meter Seaver Pool is a 10-lane competition pool with touch pads wired for timing. The sundeck provides ample space for dry-land training. Solar cells installed on top of the existing gym supplement heating for the pool, lowering the school’s natural gas expenditures. Below the pool, natural light filters in through a clerestory to the fitness facility, training rooms and locker rooms. In the fitness center, treadmills and weights stock a large workout room. The training room houses taping tables.

Along the eastern length of campus, MATT expanded Booth Field. The synthetic-turf field is one of the first of its kind. Before the turf was laid, the Brock YSR (Youth Safety Research) base layer was installed to provide ground stability, thermal insulation, and optimal drainage. Specifically designed for young athletes, the white foam layer is engineered to offer more energy attenuation at lower loads while maintaining the proper field stiffness for foot stability and speed. This reduction in force minimizes fall injuries and the impact of head-to-surface collisions. After the shock layer was installed, the synthetic turf was then hand-pulled and sewn over the top. Finally, a cork and sand infill was spread via John Deere Gator, combed by hand and swept level. The overall design paid attention to the key sustainability principles of storm water management and high-efficiency irrigation. The whole field was completed in three weeks instead of the usual six, giving Marlborough time to prepare for the coming school year.

Bordering Booth Field opposite the Sprague Center, a Zen fountain anchors the 5,500 sf garden. In addition to providing a gathering space and shade, the garden is wired for sound and backed on one end by an ipe wood deck and trellis, which doubles as a proscenium stage. The team met challenges such as managing construction traffic around parents and students who used the same entrance, keeping planning flexible while coordinating with the school schedule, maximizing student safety and minimizing impact on an operating campus.