Charles R. Drew Charter School Junior and Senior Academy
In 2011, our team won a competition to expand the existing K-8 Drew Charter School to include a new high school. As planning for the project evolved, the new building was programmed to house an expanded 6th through 8th grade program as well as the new 9th through 12th grade program. Located on what was a golf course adjacent to the existing building, the site rises some 80 feet. The school is designed to take advantage of this change in elevation. The public front door is on the building’s south facade while the main classroom level has on-grade access on the north side of the building. A three story lobby atrium that goes through a shared learning commons separates the middle school on the high end of the site from the high school on the lower end of the site.
Responding to Drew's project-based learning approach to teaching, we designed the building with large, open, and flexible labs on the south side and enclosed traditional classrooms for direct instruction on the north side. Each set of two classrooms has a movable partition allowing for team teaching and collaboration. As natural light was a big priority to the client, all of the learning spaces are fully glazed. Located on one of the highest points in Atlanta, the large expanses of glass afford wonderful views of the city skyline.