The new Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center, is the first new Baltimore public school building in nearly 30 years. A cornerstone for the largest redevelopment project in Baltimore and a catalyst in the revitalization of East Baltimore, the seven-acre campus next to John’s Hopkins Hospital, houses 540 students and 175 pre-school children.
The school is conceived as a community hub. Housing innovative early learning and childcare, Henderson Hopkins also includes a Family Resource Center, a Library, an Auditorium, and a Gym, shared resources for residents and businesses. An evolving and innovative curriculum was a fundamental criteria in the design process. The school’s classrooms are designed to permit flexible reconfiguration according to changing student ages, needs, and activities. Classrooms are organized into clusters by age, which surround Commons learning spaces and open onto exterior Learning Terraces. The open plan layout and ample circulation encourages both planned and chance interaction.
The school design is inspired by a contextual interpretation of East Baltimore urban planning, the scale and character of its row homes, and its legacy of forming social civic spaces. The identity of the school specifically grew around the scale and character of the historic row homes along Ashland Avenue, which are preserved and revitalized to serve as the school library and a community library. The severely damaged buildings were structurally stabilized, connected on the interior, and modernized to become a social and cultural hub.
The school is composed of small scale houses, forming larger blocks, then clusters, bisected by main streets, side streets, alleys and paths and extend the urban grid within the campus. In addition to rooting the facility in the community, this layout provides ample sunlight inside the classrooms and secures exterior learning terraces directly adjacent to every learning space.
The integrated scale, materiality, and planning logic results is an integrated whole, true to its place and time. More than a school in the community, it is of the community.
As part of Rogers Marvel Architects, we are pleased to have been a part of the effort that shaped the design of the Henderson-Hopkins School and congratulate Rogers Partners on having seen those efforts through construction and to an award-winning conclusion.
AIA National Honor Award for Architecture
AIA NY Design Award, Honor Award in Architecture
AIA NY State, Award of Excellence
AIA NY State, Best of New York State Award
The Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award
Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award
The Architect’s Newspaper, Building of the Year, Best of Design Award
U.S. Green Building Council Maryland Chapter, Wintergreen Award
AIA Baltimore Design Excellence Award, Good Design = Good Business
AIA Baltimore Design Excellence Award, K-12 Design Award
AIA Maryland Excellence in Design Award, Public Building of the Year
AIA NY Chapter Design Honor Award
Architect Magazine, Annual Design Review, Honorable Mention
Council of Educational Facility Planners, Project of Distinction
World Architects American-Architects Building of the Year 2014, Editors’ Choice