Germantown Academy New Upper / Middle School

Fort Washington PA

WRT's new academic building for Germantown Academy is a 160,000 square foot facility that incorporates the iconic administration building and creates completely new learning environments for the Middle and Upper Schools. The project is the first phase in the School’s implementation of a sustainable master plan, also developed by WRT. One of the major goals of that master plan is to reconnect the School to the Wissahickon Creek, which runs through the campus, and to view it as an ecological and educational resource.

The architecture of the new building continues the traditional stone architecture, but transitions to a more contemporary glass and metal architecture on the Creek side. A central commons, serving as the main entrance and gathering area, and an updated library and technology center serve as the new academic heart. The layout maximizes day-lighting and campus views for the classrooms, creates informal student spaces that allow the circulation areas to be filled with natural daylight and creates outdoor courtyard spaces that connect the science classrooms to the natural landscape and provide new outdoor programming opportunities.

The project is registered under the USGBC LEED for schools program and is on track to receive a "Gold" rating. It incorporates a host of sustainable design strategies that extend the building as a teaching tool: rainwater harvesting systems and a green roof teach about storm water management issues, green materials teach about resources, and advanced system controls display the workings of the building.

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Montgomery Award for Excellence
Planning and Design
Montgomery County Board of Commissioners