The outdoor classroom provides space for curriculum gardening as well as community events like the farmer’s market, from which students can learn the farm-to-fork process that contains lessons on horticulture, nutrition, and economics. This 10,000sf courtyard renovation is designed as a response to the evolving curriculum that encourages outdoor activities such as gardening, cooking, and play. Named after an abolitionist hero, the existing school with a central courtyard was built two years after the 1968 DC riots.

ISTUDIO led the A/E team to adapt an underused courtyard into vibrant educational spaces. The team designed an outdoor kitchen with classroom and reoriented the hardscape to accommodate ADA access ramps. Features include a pavilion with rain garden, shaded brick courtyard, and a curriculum garden with raised beds. ISTUDIO led the approach with AMT Civil Engineers to overcome DOEE and DC Water approvals challenges and execute the project on a fast-track over the course of the spring and summer months of 2017.