DLR Group Designs Elementary School Revamp on Capitol Hill

By SCN Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Community members gathered with students and staff recently to celebrate the official opening of the newly renovated Maury Elementary School. DLR Group’s design offers 21st century educational spaces to enhance learning and, in response to a growing student population, includes a significant addition that expands the building’s capacity from 360 students to 539 students.

Located in Washington D.C.’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Maury Elementary School was originally constructed in 1886. DLR Group’s design complements the surrounding historical residential architecture style while also offering a modernized, state-of-the-art learning environment. A glass-edged discovery commons seamlessly connects historic and new components of the school, celebrating the original iconic historic cornerstone building and amplifying transparency and indoor-outdoor connections. Maury Elementary School features flexible instructional spaces, such as music and art classrooms, science labs, and collaboration areas designed to adapt over time. A maker space is used for hands-on and project-based learning. DLR Group reorganized the school with circulation spaces that also serve as active learning zones to reduce transition times and to foster greater opportunity for discovery, collaboration, and play.

“DLR Group’s design team maximized open space for play and community use at Maury Elementary School, which was a key goal for the surrounding community. The creative design of child-scale places, biophilic materials, and indoor-outdoor connections creates a unique educational environment that inspires, attracts, and sparks children’s love of learning,” said DLR Group Principal Sarah Woodhead, AIA.

The $42 million, 70,000-square-foot Maury Elementary School modernization project was funded through the District of Columbia Public Schools’ capital improvements program.

DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. DLR Group is 100 percent employee-owned and fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge, and is an initial signatory to the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment