CLIENTDC Department of General Services, District of Columbia Public Schools

SERVICESArchitecture, Interiors

LOCATIONWashington, DC

SIZE93,000 sq ft

STATUSCompleted 2023

CERTIFICATIONLEED Gold, Net Zero Energy ready, designed to meet WELL Standards

Raymond Elementary School stands as a testament to the intersection of urban education, sustainability, and historical preservation. Our dedication to achieving net zero energy while respecting the past has set a benchmark for future projects. It is a symbol of how innovation, sustainability, and history can coexist harmoniously, leaving a legacy for generations to come.

New, state-of-the-art gymnasium
New, state-of-the-art gymnasium
Library
Library
Courtyard playground
Courtyard playground
New classroom
New classroom

We embarked on a journey to modernize and expand the historic Raymond Elementary School, and our efforts were transformative. The design now accommodates 590 students as of the 2023-24 school year and features a new wing housing a gymnasium, library, and classrooms, along with an enhanced entry sequence. Our sustainability commitment shines through with LEED Gold and Net Zero Energy certifications as our targets. Over 100 geothermal wells, solar canopies, and energy-efficient systems were integrated to achieve this goal, all while meticulously preserving the historical integrity of the building.

Sustainability was a central theme, with our commitment to achieving Net Zero Energy requirements evident in every aspect of our design. Our focus extended to upgrading MEP systems, modernizing infrastructure, and even addressing the challenge of limited space for renewable energy installations.

Courtyard playground
Courtyard playground
Library overlooking courtyard playground
Library overlooking courtyard playground

The urban challenge

Introducing this new program within an urban setting posed a formidable challenge. The 1920s historical building, a cherished landmark, added complexity to the equation. Navigating these intricacies necessitated close collaboration with the Historic Preservation Office.

To realize our objectives and address these challenges, our plan was bold yet respectful. We proposed the demolition of the 1966 school wing, replacing it with a larger, 50,000 square-foot wing that would house a state-of-the-art gymnasium. This approach minimized disruption to the historic building, ensuring its legacy while serving the evolving needs of the school community.

Refreshed historic corridor
Refreshed historic corridor

Engaging stakeholders and the community was integral to the renovation process. We sought to gain support for our efforts while changing materials to match the original, preserving the building's authentic character.

Balancing modernization & history

Historic stairwell before
Historic stairwell before
Reimagined stairwell after
Reimagined stairwell after

PHOTOGRAPHYGarrett Rowland

Awards and Press