The overall goal of the renovation/addition design clarified program elements for the middle school concept while addressing transportation issues and re-establishing a formal entrance to the school.

To gain insight into the teaching approach and its potential architectural impact at Johnson Williams Middle School, administrators and students exchanged roles with the architectural design team. At this school-wide “Architecture Day”, the the architects integrated their concepts into various lesson plans, thereby placing students and teachers alike in the role of the designer and reinforcing the interdisciplinary nature of design. The building became a three-dimensional textbook embodying lessons in core knowledge.

The location of the addition on the front of the building re-establishes the original façade as the main entry point into the school and as a formal front that addresses the remaining site. Programmatically, the addition’s front façade includes the media center, a stair tower, and the administrative block. The stair tower serves as marker for the re-established entry into the school. This entry point is easily observed from the administrative areas. A second node of the administrative program allows optimized observation of activities throughout the school. The school is also configured to cater to the team concept, divided into flexible “zones” for each grade level.

Several spaces available for community use also determined programmatic developments. For security reasons, the school can be subdivided to limit access to public spaces. Facilities for community use include the media center, art room adjacent to the gallery, auditorium, gym and the cafeteria with its informal stage. Johnson Williams Middle School’s auditorium is the only such space available to the community.

The overall goal of the renovation/addition design clarified program elements for the middle school concept while addressing transportation issues and re-establishing a formal entrance to the school.

To gain insight into the teaching approach and its potential architectural impact at Johnson Williams Middle School, administrators and students exchanged roles with the architectural design team. At this school-wide “Architecture Day”, the the architects integrated their concepts into various lesson plans, thereby placing students and teachers alike in the role of the designer and reinforcing the interdisciplinary nature of design. The building became a three-dimensional textbook embodying lessons in core knowledge.

The location of the addition on the front of the building re-establishes the original façade as the main entry point into the school and as a formal front that addresses the remaining site. Programmatically, the addition’s front façade includes the media center, a stair tower, and the administrative block. The stair tower serves as marker for the re-established entry into the school. This entry point is easily observed from the administrative areas. A second node of the administrative program allows optimized observation of activities throughout the school. The school is also configured to cater to the team concept, divided into flexible “zones” for each grade level.

Several spaces available for community use also determined programmatic developments. For security reasons, the school can be subdivided to limit access to public spaces. Facilities for community use include the media center, art room adjacent to the gallery, auditorium, gym and the cafeteria with its informal stage. Johnson Williams Middle School’s auditorium is the only such space available to the community.

Client: Clarke County Public Schools

Location: Berryville, Virginia

Discipline: Middle & High Schools

Completion: 2001

Size: 28,000 SF Addition and Renovation