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Marie Reed Elementary School
Washington, DC

  • project Marie Reed Elementary School
  • architect Quinn Evans
  • general contractor Gilbane Construction
  • photographer Joseph Romeo Photography
  • representation Chesapeake Lighting

Opened in 1977, Marie Reed Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Center is a won­der­fully diverse school located in the Adams Morgan neigh­bor­hood of Wash­ing­ton, DC. With a robust public health clinic, child care center, adult edu­ca­tion, swim­ming pool, and turf field, Marie Reed is the hub of the neigh­bor­hood. Designed as an inwardly focused, open con­cept school, it was an out­dated facil­ity that lacked appeal­ing, flex­i­ble spaces for a vari­ety of instruc­tional pro­grams and gath­er­ings. Poor acoustics and insuf­fi­cient nat­ural light through­out the build­ing also ham­pered instruc­tion.

Every space within the build­ing was redesigned to gen­er­ate a strong sense of com­mu­nity, with a mix of enclosed class­rooms and open com­mons spaces. The design is inspired by a neigh­bor­hood theme, with a large, mul­ti­pur­pose town hall,” inti­mate com­mu­nity cor­ners,” and an inter­nal main street” to wel­come stu­dents with a friendly, easy-to-nav­i­gate envi­ron­ment for instruc­tion; large and small gath­er­ings; and self-directed explo­ration, play, and study.

The mod­ern­iza­tion not only accom­mo­dated the needs of its ele­men­tary school stu­dents, but the needs of the com­mu­nity for years to come. The exte­rior of the impos­ing struc­ture was peeled away to create a more trans­par­ent, wel­com­ing pres­ence along the street. A new plaza along this west­ern edge pro­motes gath­er­ing and inter­ac­tion, and fea­tures col­or­ful new play­ground equip­ment, a per­me­able play sur­face, new bench seat­ing, gar­dens, and a sculp­ture garden.

Selux Arca was chosen for its min­i­mal­ist sleek look, excel­lent visual com­fort and opti­mal spread­ing of light with no up light — per­fect for light­ing the path­ways around the com­mu­nity center. Arca blends in seam­lessly into its sur­round­ings, the square pole and double pole top mount echo­ing the brick pat­tern of the walk­way.

  • Arca's design language is purist at all times. While it is timeless, a reserved design enables the Arca to blend harmoniously into all public spaces. The proprietary Gen5 light engine gives you an expansive selection of technical light distributions to choose from. Arca also allows different mounting configurations for a unique look and function. IP65 rated light engine has toolless access via a cast aluminum latch, and the complete assembly has an impact resistance of IK08.
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