Johns Hopkins Wraps Work at New D.C. Campus

By Eric Althoff

WASHINGTON, D.C.—While the world-renowned Johns Hopkins is based in Baltimore, the respected institution of higher learning has opened a new facility just 35 miles south in the nation’s capital. Key players on the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center—located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, just off the National Mall—included architect of record SmithGroup, construction manager Clark Construction, project management and owners’ representation firm MGAC, exterior architect Ennead Architects and interior architect Rockwell Group.

All of the D.C.-based graduate studies for the university will take place in the Bloomberg Center. The 435,000-square-foot Bloomberg Center houses the School of Advanced International Studies, Carey Business School, as well as the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

The Bloomberg Center exists inside the site of the former Newseum, which closed at the end of 2019. The space has now been transformed to host 38 classrooms, a 375-seat theater, study spaces, lounges, and terraces overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue and the nearby Capitol. The Bloomberg Center also hosts a coffee shop, fitness center and library.

The unique design for the building entails two cantilevered floating classrooms that hang from trusses. The classroom space allows for extensive views of the facility’s main atrium space. Other amenities include an open meeting space, dubbed “The Beach,” for students and staff to congregate and chat in between classes. The Beach is named in honor of a greenspace at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus, located near central Baltimore.

The designers incorporated Tennessee Pink marble in the facade, which matches other famous buildings nearby such as the National Portrait Gallery, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, as well as the Smithsonian along the Mall. The architects aimed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.

“The Hopkins Bloomberg Center is a new landmark facility for Johns Hopkins University,” said MGAC Project Manager Vincent McLaughlin. “We are pleased to deliver a building that will contribute to the cultural and academic landscape of Washington, D.C.”

“Converting the Hopkins Bloomberg Center from a museum into a modern education facility to support Johns Hopkins University’s programs has been an exciting challenge,” said Amy Mercurio, associate vice president of capital projects for Johns Hopkins University. “We have greatly benefited from having the original building’s architects and engineers on our team.”

MGAC was hired in 2019 to provide project management support and cost management services.

“The dedication and technical experience of the team members involved in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center project made it possible to navigate any obstacles,” Sarah Eynon, MGAC’s senior director, said in a statement emailed to School Construction News. “Their technical expertise and commitment resulted in a remarkable overhaul of the building, creating a collaborative workspace that truly reflects the progressive ethos of a forward-thinking University.”

MGAC’s services include cost and project management, technological solutions, FF&E procurement and relocation management.