A cornerstone for east Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Maury Elementary School has served its neighborhood for more than 130 years. The need for greater capacity and alignment with its community’s evolving needs led to an expanded and modernized school that creatively maintains the historic 1886 4-square classroom building, and integrates an addition as compactly as possible on the existing site.
A glass-edged atrium connects the historic with the new to celebrate the original historic façades while amplifying transparency and indoor-outdoor connections. The school’s mission aims to offer a nurturing environment to its demographically and economically diverse community of learners, fostering creativity, cultivating curiosity, and forming lasting connections to develop self-empowered citizens.
The re-imagined school elevates this mission. Opportunities for learning are everywhere, as a high degree of interior glazing provides a sense of openness and connection. Design principles guiding the newly opened school include maximizing open space for physical education, informal play, and community use while creating a unique sense of place that inspires, attracts, and sparks children’s love of learning.