The Living Classrooms site in Southeast DC is part of a new riverfront destination by Forest City Ratner called The Yards. The development project redefines this area with 250,000 sf of new street-level retail, approximately 2,800 new residential units, and 1.8 million sf of new office space. At the western edge of the site resides the new Nationals ballpark, with the Living Classrooms site located at the southeast portion of the site adjacent to the historic Washington Navy Yard and perched on the edge of the Anacostia River.
At the core of Living Classrooms’ mission is the desire to benefit the community-at-large through education and hands-on training, and the design of this building strives to embrace and educate visitors and the general public to these same values. Visitors from the north first experience the powerful, monolithic mass that consolidates the building’s service elements and connects the building to the industrial history of the site and the Navy Yard Power Plant to the north. As one approaches from the south, east, or west, a very transparent ground level exposes the metal shop and is designed to engage the landscape and public. The upper volume of levels two and three form a private zone to work, teach and learn that is adaptable to the evolving culture of Living Classrooms. Dramatic, panoramic views of the river are experienced from any perspective in the building and result is a building that revitalizes the soul of the site and the individual.