Chevy Chase Elementary School
- Chevy Chase, MD
- Montgomery County Public Schools
- June 2005
- Historic Preservation
The original 1930 school and a parallel wing built in 1934 delineated a well-proportioned court but . multiple additions over the years in-filled and surrounded the brick and limestone buildings, losing the rich architectural heritage of the school. . The tight, sloping site. (half the size of most elementary schools) had served as an excuse to rob the students of daylight and a comprehensible flow of spaces.
Wiencek + Associates Architects + Planners worked closely with the community and staff to find ways to meet modern programming needs by removing all but the oldest elements of the building and sculpting new additions to recreate the historic courtyard. This central outdoor space now connects the lobby to the lower level multipurpose room, which opens to the playground. The reconfiguration created not only a gathering space but also clarified the circulation path between the public spaces that would otherwise seem disconnected.
The front of the 3-story building is stepped to create an intimate forecourt. The community rallied around the design by raising funds for quality materials, such as precast concrete window surrounds at the new additions. The end result is a harmonious blend of new construction and historic rehabilitation work to the original wings, creating a unified design and bright daylit spaces suitable for teaching and learning.