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SAINT MARY'S ABBEY
Morristown, New Jersey
 

The monastery is a self-contained community for 120 Benedictine monks, including priests, clerics, & cleric novices, brothers & brother novices. Its main activity is the administration of the Delbarton School, a private prep school for 400 boys, located in a separate campus nearby.

The site is 400 acres of rolling, wooded land 5 miles west of Morristown, with the monastery now housed in an old brick building at the crown of the hill overlooking the school campus. The program consists of facilities for the monastery, including a dining hall for the Delbarton students, 100,000 square feet total floor area. The monastery must be physically separate, however functionally related to the Delbarton campus. The monastery is placed at the top of the long hill, a 3 minute walk from the central mall of the campus.

The abbey church is placed closest to the campus, serving as a link between the sacred and secular. The monks' dining facilities are across from the forecourt and cloister entrance. The monastery facilities occupy the elevated curved wings, creating a private, 2-level cloister, visually separated from the forecourt. The main level cloister is intended to serve as a semi-private circulation ring that accommodates processions to and from the choir entrance via both covered and open routes. The lower level, visually screened from the garage, is a place of meditation not unlike the roof walk at the chapter room level. Both the monks’ living cells and the main level cloister face outward toward the principal view, the natural landscape. The structure is reinforced concrete. The monks’ cell block is a curved beam with the cell party walls as stiffener-webs, supported by mechanical towers, stair towers, toilet towers, and the dining hall walls.