KIPP DC College Prep serves over 850 children, in roughly 126,500 square feet, and its construction has allowed each of its KIPP DC partner schools to expand in-place and to serve the KIPP DC mission more effectively. The project lies in Northeast Washington DC, adjacent to Gallaudet University and the emerging Florida Market/Union Market commercial area, and near the Gallaudet/NOMA metro stop. It is relatively central within the District and is highly accessible, two criteria essential to KIPP DC, which draws students District-wide, and which expects over 80% of its high-schoolers to arrive via public transit.
To create the space for the new field and track, and to maximize the spatial power and overall value of the location, the new high school is a compact, efficient mass at the site’s highest point. From here, it looks out over the athletic field and toward broad views of the District. It is also broadly visible along Brentwood Parkway, and to the students who will ascend this hill daily from the metro and bus.
The building’s light color and rich texture elevate this approach, by shining brightly in winter and summer sunlight, by offering a modest and subtle gesture toward DC’s more monumental buildings, and by deferring gracefully to the broad, surrounding landscape. The building’s organization of spaces strives to balance KIPP’s innovative teaching methodologies while reinforcing the solidity and emerging tradition of this school.