Achievement Prep Academy

Achievement Prep Academy

Date: 2014 – 2016
Area: 80,400 ft² / 7,470 m²

Washington DC

This campus consists of two buildings connected by a covered walkway. The two buildings – a renovation and a new structure – were developed for Achievement Preparatory Academy (APA) – a high-performing Ward 8 charter school. Since 2008, Achievement Prep Academy has operated a middle school on the site within the unrenovated Draper School Building. APA’s elementary and early childhood programs operated in leased buildings in other locations around Ward 8. Achievement Preparatory Academy consolidated all of its programs onto a single campus so it can continue to serve the neighborhood surrounding Wahler Place SE.

2018 AIA DC, Award of Excellence
2017 AIA Virginia, Excellence in Architecture Merit Award

All photos copyright Hoachlander Davis Photography

Achievement Prep Academy - Wahler Campus Studio Twenty Seven Architecture - Concept Rendering
Achievement Prep Academy - Wahler Campus Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

Design Development


~ Create a green court between new and old

~ Remove mass for green space and views

~ Carve out main circulation space

The innovative design fosters creativity and supports a positive school culture which has a profound effect upon students’ academic achievement and social interactions with peers and adults. The school’s educational program of closing the achievement gap involves establishing habits amongst the scholars that stay for a lifetime. This includes self-discipline and an appreciation for the benefits of a college education.

Achievement Prep Academy - Wahler Campus by StudioTwentySevenArchitecture - Interior


The benefits to local communities and the nation as a whole in achieving this goal are significant and self-evident. The educational program of the school requires a longer school day. The following are ways in which a school environment can provide a stimulating but not distracting academic environment for students:


  • Natural Light in Classrooms: Daylighting in schools has a direct correlation to student achievement.



  • Patterns of Views:  Views should be visible from places of transition as opposed to direct orientation – important for classrooms where students need to see outside but are not distracted by a commanding view.


Achievement Prep Academy - Wahler Campus by StudioTwentySevenArchitecture - Axon-01


Care was taken to organize arrival and dismissal and to establish different entrances for students of the different schools, segregated from vehicular traffic. The site is organized inwards with opportunities for play and outdoor learning between and around the two buildings.