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Cardozo High School Addition


GGA provided conceptual concepts for the renovation of the Cardozo High School in NW, Washington, DC.  The project is one of the largest renovations of the DC Public School system.  The design concept is based on a conceptual understanding of the program and a comprehensive design approach to the modernization of this historic landmark high school in Washington DC.

Inspired by the historic Cardozo High School’s prominent neighborhood setting and unique vista of the Capitol and Washington Monument, GGA envisioned a state of the art campus, community center and building grounds that actively engages learning in a variety of shared and individual environments, and connection to the community. The project entails the full and complete renovation of the building and building systems.  One of the major components and opportunities of the modernization is the addition of a new athletic center.  The scale of this element is important in the overall balance of requirements and he need to protect the historic landmark building.

The new design concept will set the historic building on an expanded plinth to accommodate new and necessary requirements. Comprised of outdoor amphitheater classrooms, landscape buffers, and solar panel installations, the steeply sloping site and terraced east and west open areas afford an ideal opportunity to create and active plinth to the existing building housing key athletic center and parking functions below a green roof.  Arranged to minimize the visual and environmental impact of the gymnasium addition and zoning requirement for approximately 120 spaces, the south approach will feature an entrance plaza and landscaped stadium promenade connecting the east and west portions of the site.

As a listed historic building the design approach of the exterior entrance and building façade is to celebrate, retain and refurbish the existing brick and stone cladding to its original state. Where required by code or LEED goals modern glazing and building components upgrades will be utilized on the existing façade and will be consistent with the original design intent of the building.

A major element of the modernization is the addition of a new athletic center and natatorium. For the first time in Cardozo basketball history the student’s parents and neighborhood will be able to host a home game in a new athletic center that serves a variety of additional uses.  The new 45,000 SF three level structure is emblematic of the OPEFM program that will house:

  • A new athletic grounds entry plaza, reception and ticketing area.
  • 1,200 seat gymnasium which can be subdivided into two 50’x84’ practice courts for PE purposes.
  • A 40’ x 25 yard ten lane competition swimming pool and bleacher seating located in the current Boiler/Coal storage areas.
  • Separate Men’s and Women’s Team/Fitness locker areas, showers, PE teacher offices, and washrooms.
  • Multi-purpose PE classrooms, auxiliary gym space, weight training and aerobic rooms.
  • Shared concessions and public toilet areas that support both the basketball and football/track/soccer fields.
  • Community function rooms, ROTC facilities and indoor-outdoor practice areas.

A unique element of the Athletic Center design is the active green roof that features landscaped pedestrian paths, an outdoor amphitheater classroom, solar panel and rainwater recycling installations, north facing clearstory glazing and scenic viewing area overlooking the stadium and the DC skyline.

Location: Falls Church, VA
Size: 320,000 SF

Cardozo High School Addition



Cardozo High School Addition
Howard Town Center