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Achievement Prep Academy Breaks Ground on redeveloped Wahler Place Campus

News—————7 May 2015

Studio Twenty Seven is proud to announce the ground breaking of the Wahler Campus Project located east of the Anacostia River in Ward 8 of Washington, DC. The two-year project will redevelop the current Achievement Prep campus on Wahler Place in two phases.  The finished campus will consist of two buildings connected by a covered walkway.  The first phase includes the construction of a new 50,000 sf building that will operate as a middle school.  The second phase consists of the renovation to an existing 55,000 sf building that will house an elementary and early childhood school, consolidating all APA students onto one site.

For the past six years, Achievement Prep Academy (APA) has operated as a middle school out of the Draper School located at 908 Wahler Place SE.  In the last few years APA has added elementary and early childhood programs that currently operate in other locations of Ward 8.  One of the major goals for this project was to consolidate all of the APA schools to one single campus that continues to serve the neighborhoods surrounding Wahler Place SE.

The new middle school building aims to balance the site while bringing a feeling of unity to the campus by paralleling the existing buildings scale, massing, and material.

Symbolically, the middle school’s central stepped commons climbs from the site.  Emulating the surrounding topography, the level change is analogous to the ages of the students, so as the students grow older they also traverse the building.  The expression of the stair is translated to the façade with brick and glass to provide daylighting and views.  Open programmatic flexibility is achieved through adjoining assembly spaces, open classrooms, the media lab and vertical connection to the primary circulation corridors.   The circulation therein wraps a courtyard further permeating the exterior into the surrounding classrooms and corridors.  Cascading levels of green roof bring these planted surfaces to the foreground of teaching spaces, while assisting with extensive storm water management needs.  

The new middle school building aims to inspire the elementary and early childhood student’s with their next big step both literally and figuratively in plain view from their backyard.  Collectively the campus aims to become a landmark for the neighborhood.

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