Riverdale Country School, established in 1907, is located on two wooded campuses in the Bronx. MNLA has been engaged in planning and design services at both campuses since 1994.
The layered landscape at the new Upper Learning Building is designed to bring nature into the learning environment for 4th and 5th grade students. Using the site’s sloped setting to advantage, classrooms have doors that open to the outside allowing students to explore the surrounding woods and grassy edges. Teaching takes place on terraces below a wooded slope and alongside a sunny west-facing terrace; young children are surrounded by a highly textured, seasonal border using 14 species of ground cover and native perennials with a variety of flowering trees and shrubs. The plant palette was selected to comply with NYC’s Special Natural Area District guidelines, a unique zoning overlay district.