Woodrow Wilson High School

Washington, District of Columbia

Wilson High School, built in 1935, suffered years of neglect and deferred maintenance when a modernization effort was launched in 2008 to transform the campus into the city’s premier comprehensive 21st-century high school. The design renovated 300,000 square feet, reorganized key parts of the campus to promote program synergies, ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMFanning HoweyCAPACITY1,600COST PER SQ FT$248.00FEATURED IN2012 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation reused all of the historic elements, repurposed underutilized and unused existing spaces, and strategically added 76,000 square feet of infills and additions in a contextually sensitive, yet contemporary style. The once labyrinthine, multi-level connections between buildings were expanded, simplified and made fully accessible.

The reorganization of the campus’ major elements created three centers that can be operated independently: the Visual and Performing Arts Center, the Athletics Center and the central Academic Building—all designed to meet LEED gold certification.

The crowning glory of the newly modernized Wilson is the Crossroads, a once-unfriendly outdoor courtyard in the center of the Academic Building, now transformed into the heart of the school as a central atrium space with a dramatic skylight.