Located in DC’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, Bancroft Elementary School provides 550 students with a premier, dual language education.
Fielding, in partnership with Ayers Saint Gross, approached the modernization by simplifying access to the learning spaces on multiple levels with a strategic addition. Clustering students of similar age or curriculum with access to a shared common space encourages informal learning opportunities outside of the classroom. A learning garden in the east courtyard and outdoor classroom on the second level provides an interactive outdoor learning experience for all ages. The shape of the building influenced by the path of the sun provides ample daylighting while maintaining energy efficiency.
Two new academic wings now provide classrooms and courtyards with improved daylighting and complement the scale of the area’s Renaissance Revival style architecture.
New construction is connected to the original buildings through the Calle Mayor, which means “Main Street” in Spanish. This central spine unifies shared spaces, including the cafeteria, media center, multipurpose room, and nature center, through ramps and elevators. Inspired by the meandering streets of an old Spanish town, each destination on this path is treated as a unique opportunity for enrichment, academic achievement, and cultural appreciation.