Case Study

Fresh Air Fund Sharpe Reservation-Camp Hayden Marks

For 125 years, The Fresh Air Fund has provided children from New York City the opportunity for valuable life lessons at the stunning 2300 acre Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY. Built in the 1960’s, the original structures of Camp Hayden, one of its five mountainside camps, were deteriorated and not supportive of the eclectic educational offerings.

Part of a reconstruction plan, the new dining hall accommodates 320 campers and staff. The design takes advantage of the sloping site with walk-out classrooms for digital art and photography below dining. A twenty foot long wood screen hides the servery and provides a backdrop for performances.

The soaring roof line of the hall recalls the design of the original camp buildings, while the steel rod and timber trusses evoke an earlier industrial era. Sustainable design elements include the south facing main roof with a large area for future photo-voltaic panels and the terraced retaining walls which work as integrated storm water filters. There are expansive windows, as well as operable clerestory louvers for enhanced natural ventilation.

This project received a national Build America award.