Back to School

News—————14 September 2016


The start of the 2016-2017 school year marks the completion of three S27 projects: Achievement Prep Academy in southeast DC, the Mammie D. Lee Briya-Bridges-Mary Center campus in Fort Totten, and KIPP DC’s Smilow Campus.

Achievement Prep (pictured above) was a two phase project — Phase 1, completed last year, is a new 50,000 square foot middle school. Phase 2, the renovation of an existing school building for Achievement Prep’s elementary school, was finished this summer. A pedestrian walkway and dynamic play area connect the two buildings (pictured below), all of which sits atop a densely forested hill with sweeping views of DC. Lead project architect Jacob Marzolf gave a Pecha Kucha talk on the project at last night’s AIA|DC Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA/CAE) Back to School Fall Social!



Mammie D. Lee (above left) is a new home for two public charter schools, Bridges and Briya, and a Mary’s Center community health clinic. Bridges PCS is a pre-K3 through 5th grade school that provides inclusive learning and early intervention to students with special needs. Briya PCS provides infant and toddler classes, pre-K, and adult education in a model designed to engage entire families. S27’s design approach, first developed with the client group at a Learning Environments for Tomorrow workshop hosted by Harvard’s Graduate Schools of Education and Design, celebrates each institution as a micro-climate within the macro-climates of the site and Fort Totten community.

The Smilow Campus (above right) houses Kipp DC’s Arts and Technology, Quest, and Valor academies. Two new additions double the campus’s previous capacity to 1,100 students. Mediation of the site’s feeble soil quality (it sits just south of the Watts Branch tributary of the Potomac River) became the project’s central design concept: a series of subtractions allow the building volumes to sit lightly on the site, while maximizing interior daylight and the area of stormwater-retaining green roofs. S27 previously partnered with Kipp DC in projects at their Shaw, Benning, Webb, and Douglass campuses.


Finally, Mundo Verde PCS (picture above and below) has won an Award of Excellence from the AIA’s Committee on Architecture for Education!

AIA/CAE Education Facility Design Awards of Excellence are given to “the year’s best school and college facilities” — projects that enhance the client’s educational program, integrate functional needs and aesthetic considerations while respecting the surrounding community and context, understand the connection between the built and natural environment, and demonstrate an integrated and holistic approach to sustainability.

The jury commented that “the design team’s process for engaging the community in the design will ensure the project’s long-term success. Several features reflect a thoughtful and holistic sustainability strategy within a modest budget.”

A celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony are planned for October 22nd.


More News

Newsletter, Fall 2021

24 August 2021

Discover what's new in our Studio; Adaptive reuse project in historic Southern Building, Benning Campus construction nearing completion, DC Housing Authority Judiciary House improvements, etc.

Keep Reading

DC's Eckington's Alethia Tanner Park Unveils at NoMA Park

10 August 2021

Formerly a fenced-off field, this two-acre plot of land, next to the Metropolitan Branch Trail just north of the New York Avenue Bridge, is an unexpectedly quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle

Keep Reading

Creating Shared Experiences: DC Housing Authority's Judiciary House Senior Public Apartments Modifications

2 August 2021

Judiciary House Apartments, owned by DC Housing Authority, is a 1966, 10-story high-rise residential building located in the heart of Chinatown, NW Washington DC. Servicing senior and

Keep Reading

Ferebee-Hope Campus Redevelopment

22 July 2021

The KIPP Legacy College Preparatory is founded with the guiding principles of Learn, Live, and Lead. The new high school is a part of large redevelopment site in Washington

Keep Reading

Summer 2021 Newsletter

21 July 2021

Discover what's happening in our studio; GeerHouse development, Two Rivers Public Charter Schools, Richard Wright Public Charter School projects, etc. Click on the link to download:

Keep Reading