Brown University Churchill House and Rites and Reason Theatre

Seat of the Department of Africana Studies at Brown University for nearly 50 years, Churchill House and the Rites and Reason Theatre have a rich history, making the spaces integral to the university as a hub for education centered around the African diaspora.

This project, in partnership with Mario Gooden Studio, provides expanded space for departmental programming and events, including a renovated theater and production spaces, faculty, and community event spaces for Brown University’s Department of Africana Studies.


Visually connected to the street, the addition provides transparency and connectedness to the surrounding campus, celebrating and conveying the important academic and performance-based work transpiring within. The reoriented building entry with a new terrace and ramp is located along the Walk, a vibrant campus green space frequented by students and local community members. Enhancing the visibility of the department on campus, and improving accessibility from the street, this renovation and addition supports Brown University as it works toward goals of diversity and inclusion, sustainability and wellness, and community.


The design highlights the relationship between the Department of Africana Studies and the Rites and Reason Theater. Throughout the building, the department’s shared wall with the theater features a pattern mirroring that on the facade of the addition, forging connections between the building’s interior and exterior, and highlighting the presence of the theater within the Department.


Along the lobby’s southern wall, the entrance to the theater is framed with a custom perforated panel with an intricate fractal pattern. The fractal, a geometric pattern with inlaid shapes that grow and shrink in scale, references patterns used in West African cultural artifacts such as textiles and architecture. This fractal pattern is recalled throughout the department and is used in the supergraphics on select feature walls on each level of the building.


Providence, RI


Brown University



MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Tanya Gershon, Jason Roberts, Diego Arango, Elliot Park, Kristy Cho, Brian Castro

Associate Architect

Mario Gooden Studio


Vanderweil Engineers

Civil Engineering

Woodard & Curran

Geotechnical Engineering

GZA GeoEnvironmental

Landscape Architecture

Stimson Landscape Architects

Fire Alarm, Fire Protection, Code

Jensen Hughes

Energy Modeling

Andelman and Lelek


Siemens Industries

Building Envelope

Building Enclosure Science

Acoustical Consulting

Threshold Acoustics

Theater and Performance

Theatre Projects

Lighting Design

Tillotson Design Associates

Structural Engineer

Odeh Engineers

Specifications Writer

Construction Specifications Inc.

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Dutchess County House and Artist Studio

The client for this residence is an artist, interested in the ways that paint articulates light, space, weight, and form. In this project, we negotiate building materials and spaces to reflect these interests, while forging connections between domestic space and sprawling landscape, creating a unique place for living, working, and playing.

This new single-family residence includes an artist studio and pool and is situated within a south-facing hill in Dutchess County, New York. The house is surrounded by lush, forested hills and woodlands creating the opportunity for distinct moments that blend landscape with human habitation.


At the core of this project is a commitment to stewardship of the natural environment, with materials and building systems chosen thoughtfully to meet rigorous sustainability goals. The home includes photovoltaic panels for energy generation and a geothermal heating and cooling system that utilizes the stable temperature of the earth’s subsurface to exchange heat. Primary interior finishes include locally sourced wood for both structure and finishes; concrete, stone, and wood floors; and metal kitchen cabinets. Tiered stone walls step up the hill from the pool to the home, and exposed, board-formed concrete retaining walls extend from the landscape to the interior, integrating the unique terrain and topography of the site with interior spaces.


Dutchess County, NY


Private Client



MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Jason Roberts, Elliot Park, Benjamin Hait, Tanya Gershon

Landscape Architecture


MEP Engineers


Structural Engineering


Lighting Consultant

PHT Lighting Design

Civil Engineering

Bibbio Associates, LLP

Pool Consultant

Denscot Pools



Geotechnical Engineering & Survey


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Urban Dove Team Charter School

Urban Dove Team Charter School is a unique and innovative alternative sports-based high school for over-aged, under-credited youth that combines a rigorous academic curriculum with a hands-on, real-world vocational program.

Following the development of a strategic plan for Urban Dove to expand across all NYC boroughs, Marble Fairbanks designed a team charter school in Brooklyn as a renovation to an existing building. Unique to Urban Dove schools, each student is part of a team with their own coach who offers extra curriculum support and sports and fitness instruction. A gymnasium, training rooms, and extra fitness spaces complement traditional classroom learning, and access to outdoor fields is an important criterion for building sites. Various scenarios were developed within the strategic plan including for the school to be part of a new development project, to be the sole tenant in an existing building, or to be a tenant within a larger renovation project.


As part of our long-standing relationship with Urban Dove, we’ve worked on other design projects including the development of a graphic identity for the school that can be easily replicated in new spaces as Urban Dove expands. The recent renovation for their Brooklyn-based school included repurposing an auditorium into a gymnasium, incorporating the custom graphic identity which has been strategically applied in their Bronx school. The Urban Dove model has proved to be highly successful, and we continue to advise as they expand their services.



Brooklyn, New York


Urban Dove Team Charter School



MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Tanya Gershon, Jason Roberts, Chris Allen, Victor Ohene, Camille Esquivel, Spenser Krut, Ravipa Ramyarupa, Katie Shima

Structural Engineers

A Degree of Freedom

MEP/FP Engineers

Setty & Associates

Middlebury College Library Master Plan_Marble Fairbanks

Middlebury College Library Master Plan

College and university libraries are ideal locations for institutional partnerships that expand opportunities to experiment with and explore pedagogy and expand support for teaching and learning. At Middlebury College, we worked closely with the library team to establish a master plan process that provided opportunities for the broader college community to weigh in and help shape the future of the library.

The Master Plan for Middlebury College Library envisions future projects and establishes prioritized and phased options for realizing these changes within the Davis Family Library and Armstrong Science Library, the two main libraries on Middlebury College’s campus. With the goal of aligning the library’s master plan goals with Middlebury’s strategic plan, we looked at Middlebury’s libraries as a network of related resources throughout campus.

The planning process included a series of focus groups, drop-in sessions, surveys, and campus-wide presentations to understand the current needs and future goals of each of the libraries and to establish a clear framework and shared principles for guiding the work. The master plan provides alternate future paths and multiple conceptual design options for more collaborative study space, expanded knowledge production spaces, and experimental studio and rich media spaces that support emergent pedagogy. These future paths align the libraries with Middlebury’s strategic framework, while also addressing library services, staff spaces, special collections, and stacks. The goal is for the master plan to be a living document, providing phased options for immediate, near-term, and long-term implementation for the libraries to redirect, reconfigure, and reallocate space as the institutional needs evolve.


Middlebury, VT


Middlebury College



MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Jason Roberts, Chris Allen, Ravipa Ramyarupa

Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center

The role of the branch library today is more than a repository of information – and while access to information and media of all sorts is still a critical part of what the branch libraries do, they also provide many related social services.

The new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center replaces an existing building with a 15,000sf community hub for environmental awareness, activism and education. The Greenpoint Library doubles the size of the previous building, providing significantly enlarged indoor and outdoor spaces to house expanded activities related to the exploration of the environment as well as everyday library use. The primary program elements are adult, young adult, and children reading rooms and collection spaces, and community spaces for regular library programming as well as for the Environmental Education Center. Lab spaces for interactive projects, a large community event space (which divides into two of the lab spaces), a lounge, small meeting rooms, and staff spaces are distributed on the two main floors.


The new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center provides street level exterior green space, clear visual connections to interior activities, and two accessible green roofs on the upper floors. The plaza design offers the public an engaging civic space that demonstrates sustainability and reinterprets the environmental history of the region. Primary exterior building materials include custom sandblasted wood panels on the upper level and custom cast concrete on the lower level. The building will exceed required LEED goals, becoming a demonstration project for innovative approaches to sustainable design and a learning tool for the community.


Brooklyn, NY


Brooklyn Public Library



MFA Design Team

Karen Fairbanks, Scott Marble, Nicholas Desbiens, Jason Roberts, Peter Adams, Benjamin Hait, Keenan Korth, Lauren Espeseth, Spenser Krut, Tanya Gershon, Ravipa Ramyarupa, Atrianne Dolom

Landscape Architect

SCAPE / Landscape Architecture

MEP/FP Engineers & LEED

ads Engineers, PC

Structural Engineers

Robert Silman Associates

General Contractor

Westerman Construction Co, Inc

Civil/Geotechnical Engineers

Yu & Associates

IT & Security

Cosentini Associates


InToTo Professional Services, Inc




Tillotson Design Associates

Code Expeditor

JAM Code Consultants


Award, Institutional Architecture

Architecture Masterprize Award

National Design Award of Merit

SARA National Design Awards

Category Winner | Design and Environment

LOOP Design Awards

Popular Choice Winner, Libraries

Architizer A+ Awards


Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

Silver Medal, Regional and Urban Design

AIA Tri-State Awards

Award of Institutional Merit

AIA New York State Design Awards

Spaces and Places category Finalist

Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards

Institutional / Libraries Finalist

Architizer A+ Awards

NYCxDesign Award Greater Good: Social + Environmental Impact

Interior Design Magazine

American Architecture Award

Chicago Athenaeum

Award of Merit

AIA Brooklyn+Queens Design Awards

Design Excellence Award

New York City Public Design Commission