Plummer Elementary School

Washington, District of Columbia

  • FIRM

    Sorg Architects

  • CLIENT

    District of Columbia Department of General Services

  • AREA

    69,400 sq.ft.

  • TOTAL COST

    $13,500,000.00

  • COMPLETION DATE

    8/2014

Built in 1955, Plummer Elementary School is an L-shaped structure composed of concrete and brick masonry. Receiving minimal renovations through the years, the three-story building underwent a major interior renovation to establish a modern identity for the school, while also providing a LEED Gold-certified, state-of-the-art learning environment for ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$194.52FEATURED IN2015 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation students.

The primary design element is inspired by the Biophilia hypothesis: the notion that humans innately seek connections with nature and that these connections contribute to our well-being. Bright, colorful corridors throughout the building transport students to unique natural environments by incorporating flora and fauna into the design of custom floor tiles. The flooring seamlessly connects to the custom porcelain wall tiles, which resemble gradations of trees found in a forest.

The school’s existing single-story entry lacked a dedicated “front door” and provided inadequate visibility for staff. To mitigate these issues, the renovation reimagines the entry as a dynamic welcome center, designed as a two-story open concourse, allowing natural light to filter directly into the ground- and first-floor corridors.