Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School

Washington, District of Columbia

  • FIRM

    Fanning Howey


    District of Columbia Public Schools

  • AREA

    123,256 sq.ft.





The reopening of Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School transformed an abandoned building into a cutting-edge instructional environment for the design and construction trades. A soaring commons acts as the unifying feature, connecting the iconic original structure with the later addition.   

The commons is a window ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONASSOCIATED FIRMBryant Mitchell ArchitectsCOST PER SQ FT$293.45CITATIONCrow Island School CitationFEATURED IN2009 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas Phelps’ rich history and proof of its bright future. Restored brick and woodwork turn former exterior walls into a dramatic corridor, which connects the academic and public-use areas. Wireless access and large skylights make this a true destination on campus.  

Designed as a teaching tool, the commons serves as a showcase of construction displays, including welding, drywall and masonry. Exposed plumbing and varied flooring—including brushed, stamped and stained concrete; porcelain tiles; and exposed aggregate—enable students to view best practices from the construction industry firsthand.  

The greatness of the commons and the visual openness through the skylights remind all students who pass through of the unlimited possibilities and potential that lie ahead for them. The sky is the limit, literally and figuratively.   

“Excellent design by utilizing space to create a timeless and artistic connection with the past.  Tasteful use of different building materials along with natural lighting work very well in harmony together. This is a place that just needs to be experienced.”--2009 jury