Designed by Rogers Partners, The Henderson-Hopkins School in Baltimore was selected as a 2016 recipient of an AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture.
The first new Baltimore public school built in 30 years, Henderson-Hopkins School is a bright, optimistic beacon that nestles itself into the traditional urban fabric of the neighborhood known as Middle East Baltimore.
The complex fills most of two city blocks with a series of ‘houses,’ or classroom clusters, and related facilities whose forms and layout echo the local tradition of low-rise rowhouses surrounding interior courtyards. The street-facing facades are dominated by a grooved pre-cast concrete that mimics Baltimore’s homegrown Formstone. Neighborhood streets continue through the complex as outdoor pedestrian corridors.
In perhaps the most overt nod to the historical architecture, the school’s library occupies nine century-old rowhouses on Ashland Avenue, gutted and re-purposed.
Yet the school is unmistakably new. Facades that do not face the street are mostly transparent. This allows the majority of rooms to rely on daylight, and children in those rooms to see the life and vitality in other parts of the school into which they will progress during their years at Henderson-Hopkins. A bright, open central commons building sets the tone of optimism that the leaders wanted to characterize the school.
A model facility that will showcase the educational vision of its operators, Johns Hopkins School of Education and Morgan State University, the school is a community campus created by East Baltimore Development, Inc. as a site for not only education but urban re-generation, with a family health center and the library, gym and auditorium offered as shared resources for community residents and businesses.