Crofton High School

Crofton, MD

Details
General, science, technical education, and special education classrooms
Media center, cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium
Maker space, fabrication lab, music classrooms, dance studio, art studios
Designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification
Owner
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Services
Feasibility Study, Community Involvement, Sustainable Design, Interior Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration, Building Information Modeling

Sited within Crofton Park, a community recreational area adjacent to a residential neighborhood, the new Crofton High School embraces nature to provide students with an inspirational learning environment.

Located on a steeply-sloped site, the design takes advantage of the site’s topography by linking the three-story academic bar to the media center, gym, cafeteria, and administration through connecting bridges on the second and third floors. An outdoor amphitheater—proximate to the core instructional programs and existing nature trails—is nestled in the space between.

Through an innovative use of materials, moments within the design are inspired by a walk through the woods and bring the outdoors in. An organic frit pattern reminiscent of leaves falling to the ground—developed by GWWO using computational design—is screenprinted on the bridge’s glass curtainwall. As the sun shines through the glass, the pattern reflects on the floor while also reducing solar heat gain. Within the lobby, custom-designed, backlit perforated panels illuminate a view of the forest.

Within the primary learning environments, natural light and ventilation—proven factors in student performance—are maximized and views to the surrounding forest are offered from nearly every window. Classrooms feature flexible, movable furniture and dual teaching walls to support differentiated instruction. Each academic level also offers centrally-located flex classrooms that can accommodate two classes simultaneously. Free of lockers, corridors serve as breakout spaces with benches, whiteboards, and pinup space for collaboration.

What Our Clients Say

"I would recommend GWWO to anyone who is looking for a team of designers that are creative, client-focused, clear communicators, and technically strong. Through our long relationship, they have continually put the needs of AACPS at the forefront, helping us to achieve our goals."

—Lawrence A. Alberts, AIA, Retired Supervisor of Planning, Design & Construction, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

Sited beside a densely populated forest, the team manipulated an image they took of Crofton's site and turned it into a perforated panel using a visual scripting interface. The end result is an eye-catching feature and a creative homage to Crofton's site and context.
Sited beside a densely populated forest, the team manipulated an image they took of Crofton's site and turned it into a perforated panel using a visual scripting interface. The end result is an eye-catching feature and a creative homage to Crofton's site and context.
Flexibility and efficiency were key to the design. Free of lockers, corridors with benches and countertops allow for quick collaboration, study, or a moment of reprieve before class.
Flexibility and efficiency were key to the design. Free of lockers, corridors with benches and countertops allow for quick collaboration, study, or a moment of reprieve before class.

Sustainable design features were integrated with the learning goals for this new high school, including a focus on outdoor environmental learning opportunities. Designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, energy reduction initiatives included the use of computer energy modeling to inform the building design, natural daylighting coupled with intelligent lighting controls, zoning of the building to correspond with occupancy and use profiles, and enhanced building commissioning. Building concepts such as maximizing ventilation in all learning spaces, water efficient systems, a well-insulated envelope, and the use of durable materials with recycled content were also incorporated.