Shining Stars Academy 

Intended as a case study for a healthy earlylearning environment, this LEED-S certified school will be a teaching tool as well to show children, parents and educators alike about their environment. Solar chimneys harness the power of rising hot air to provide cooling and ventilation naturally. Daylight is captured by a roof monitors to provide natural lighting and cut back on energy consumption. Gardens on the roof and along the alley will bring greenery to an urban playspace and provide an opportunity for outdoor education. Rainwater is collected for use in the gardens and filtered before it goes into underground cisterns for onsite infiltration.

The team worked with local community members and city agencies to obtain approvals for the plans of this unique educational facility in a 19thcentury row-house in the heart of Washington DC. Montessori-based programs will share the space with community rooms and a gallery for promoting minority history. Open stairs connect the classroom levels both inside and outside in soaring vertical spaces ideal for mounting artwork. Durable wood accents provide a warm counterpoint to colorful metal panel siding and painted brick.