St. Charles Borromeo School and Community Center

Arlington, Virginia

  • FIRM

    MTFA Architecture


    Catholic Diocese of Arlington

  • AREA

    38,000 sq.ft.





Completed in 2004, the St. Charles Borromeo School and Community Center is situated on an urban site near Clarendon Metro in Arlington, Va. This school and community center is the gateway from residential neighborhoods into a commercial district and anchors an intersection that consists of office buildings, a park, a law library and a church.

Program requirements ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$110.53FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio a full-service kitchen, classrooms and fellowship hall on the first floor. A multipurpose athletic space/performance hall is on the second floor, along with youth rooms and offices. A third-level mezzanine provides spectator and overflow space for large events.

The building receives its form from three large gables framed by abstract crosses supporting 9-foot-deep triangular trusses. The strong but familiar geometric form serves to respect the scale transition from the adjacent traditional neighborhood, while providing a clear international modernism that acknowledges a newly diverse cosmopolitan community. One critic noted that the powerful triangular geometry anchoring the radial curves of George Mason University’s library and organic park strengthened and completed the eclectic context of the intersection.