• Location Alexandria, VA
  • Client Alexandria City Public Schools
  • Program PreK-8 school
  • Area 130,000 SF
  • Project Team:

    Concordia (Design Architect), VMDO Architects (Architect of Record), Kimley-Horn and Associates (Civil + Landscape Architecture), Fox + Associates (Structural), b2e Consulting Engineers (MEP), Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd. (Acoustical), EIS, Inc. (Food Service), The Spec Guy (Specifications)

Jefferson-Houston School

Located in the historic Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, the Jefferson-Houston School references local architecture to create a more contemporary aesthetic that fits into the surrounding context and represents the innovative mission of the school district. By engaging stakeholders – including parents, teachers, neighbors, and city residents – a rigorous, design-focused community engagement process enabled participants to determine priorities for the new school, such as site design, form and massing, and exterior materials. The new school will become a teaching tool with architectural “manifestations” where students can learn how the building works. The cylindrical main entrance tower creates a new landmark, and a roof deck with a solar observatory provides views to significant cultural features like the historic Masonic Temple.

Energy efficiency and environmental responsibility are major goals, and the school will meet LEED Silver certification. Sustainable features include on site stormwater management, water efficient landscaping, and a large cistern to capture rainwater for reuse. Inside, the school will have energy efficient HVAC and plumbing, low VOC emitting interior finishes and materials, LED lighting, and enhanced acoustical design elements. The new school is being constructed around the existing school on site, which is still open. Once the new school is complete, the existing building will be demolished to build the new playground and athletic field.

Al Cox, Historic Preservation Manager and Architect at the Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning, commended Concordia for the school’s design:

“The level of design and detail shown in these images is very exciting.  This school has the potential to be…the best looking public building in Alexandria – not because you are covering it in gold leaf but because common materials, such as aluminum, glass and brick, are being used with such great care.”