Perkins Eastman | School Without Walls Senior High School

School Without Walls Senior High School

Washington, DC
The School Without Walls Senior High School is located in the heart of the GWU academic district, utilizing the city is its classroom. As a 19th century example of urban public school architecture, the original building presented opportunities and constraints for a modern high school curriculum. For example, the building was more intimate in scale than most operating public school buildings; its basic plan was more light-filled and residential in character than institutional. Likewise, historic finishes and details create a unique sense of place. All of these attributes reinforce the “small learning community” created by the school.

The dense urban site affords the opportunity for sustainable site development, while close proximity to the Metro reduces parking needs and the facility's joint use with GWU reduces the building footprint. LEED-Gold certified, the design capitalizes on the reuse of the historic school, while optimizing and enhancing efficient systems, natural light, and views. Indoor environmental quality is enhanced through the use of efficient mechanical and lighting systems, operable windows, and low-emitting materials. By modernizing the landmark 19th-century Grant School structure and combining it with a contemporary and appropriate addition, the client and design team created a campus that fosters the educational process and helps students succeed.
AWARDS
Washington Chapter AIA, Design Awards, Award of Merit in Historic Resources and Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design (2010)
DC Office of Planning, DC Award for Excellence: Historic Preservation (2010)
Learning by Design, Excellence in Educational Facility Design: Grand Prize Award (2010)
Press
PreservationNationSchool Without Walls Senior High School, Washington, DC
Architectural Record: Schools of the 21st CenturySchool Without Walls
Preservation NationHistoric and Modern, DC's School Without Walls Is the Best of Both Worlds