“True Science thrives best in glass houses, where everyone can look in,” wrote Nobel Prize–winning molecular biologist Max Perutz. Boston-based William Rawn Associates, Architects (WRA) took this sentiment to heart in the design of their Pritzker Science Center at Milton Academy, which puts visibility, in every sense of the word, front and center. The new building is evidence that the elite prep school, founded in 1798 and located in the bucolic Boston suburb of Milton, while steeped in tradition, is not stuck behind cloistered walls.
For many years Milton's science department operated out of a concrete Brutalist building. Recognizing that the outdated “bunker” might constrain the program's future, the school worked with a consultant to formally define the department's needs. The art department moved into the former science building and science moved into a temporary cluster of trailers. Meanwhile, venture capitalist and Milton alum J. B. Pritzker (of the famed Chicago family) provided a lead gift for a new building, and the project started in earnest.