Designed by Perkins Eastman, the new Dunbar Senior High School in Washington, D.C., has opened its doors for the 2013-14 academic year. The design takes its cues from the traditions of the original Dunbar, founded in 1870 as the nation’s first public high school for African Americans. Relocated in 1917, the school was demolished in the 1970s, but is elements live on in the new facility through a grand entry, tower elements, bay windows, articulated corners, and strong horizontal lines.
Named after prominent alumni, four distinct learning academies feature high-tech laboratories, classrooms, and collaborative faculty workspace across the four floors of the academic wing. The double-height armory organizes the four academies, the competition gym, pool, media center, and theater.
The design also targets LEED for Schools Platinum certification with elements such as the city’s largest geothermal system under the football field, a rooftop solar array, two 20,000-gallon cisterns for stormwater reclamation, plentiful natural light, and low VOC-emitting materials.
The design team comprises EE&K Architects + Engineers (a joint venture between Perkins Eastman, Setty Associates International, and SK&A Structural Engineers) in association with Moody Nolan, as well as Smoot/Gilbane Construction.
Renderings courtesy Perkins Eastman in association with Moody Nolan