Perkins Eastman announced that two of its projects won national awards at AIA24, the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference on Architecture & Design. Bard High School Early College DC, an innovative early college program located in Ward 8 in Washington, DC, won a 2024 AIA Education Facility Design Award, and The Wharf, a visionary waterfront neighborhood in Southwest DC, was honored with a 2024 AIA Regional & Urban Design Award at the recent AIA Awards gala. Held in the historic Pension Building, the gala brought together architects and designers in a red carpet-style celebration to recognize, honor, and inspire the innovative designs and extraordinary talent in the industry.

Bard High School Early College DC won a 2024 AIA Education Facility Design Award for its thoughtful design, sustainable features, and commitment to enhancing student success. Through adaptive reuse measures, and by addressing carbon holistically while enhancing thermal comfort and indoor environmental quality, Perkins Eastman transformed a brutalist 1960s-era building into the new Bard High School. The school, which is targeting net zero energy, has been fully operational for almost one year now and is currently one of the highest performing schools, from an energy standpoint, in the United States. “It’s so impressive to have a net zero school in an urban center renovation,” commented one of the AIA jurors. “It’s clear the team went to great lengths to involve the students and the community so they would all feel connected.”

Designed in collaboration with the DC Department of General Services, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), MCN Build, CMTA, Inc., and community stakeholders, the 108,200-sf school features an array of indoor and outdoor places that afford a wide range of educational activities and connect literally and metaphorically to Bard’s mission. As the first early college program of its kind located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC, Bard provides a tuition-free college program of study, wherein, upon graduating, students receive both a high school diploma and an Associates in Arts degree from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Perkins Eastman’s modernization of the school was completed in two phases. The first focused on providing administrative and academic spaces, dining services, and some performing arts and physical education spaces that could open during the first year. During the second phase, the team wrapped up renovation of the school’s former multi-purpose space to allow for a regulation-sized basketball court in the gym, a new stage, and additional performing arts spaces. Through strategic interventions in an existing building (the former Malcolm X Opportunity Center), Perkins Eastman’s design proves how effective sustainability measures can be integrated within modernized facilities.

In addition, The Wharf was celebrated with a 2024 AIA Regional & Urban Design Award, which recognizes the best in urban design, regional and city planning, and community development. Perkins Eastman was the architect and master planner of the vibrant year-round district, which serves as a model for future waterfront urban development throughout the United States and around the world. Encompassing a wide range of commercial, residential, and public uses, The Wharf features expansive piers, new buildings, and unique promenades that honor site, history, and community while also offering a spot for all to enjoy life at the water’s edge.

From the beginning, Perkins Eastman’s design focused on reconnecting DC to its waterfront and revitalizing a long-forgotten, historic section of the city. Working in collaboration with Hoffman-Madison Waterfront (HMW), the team transformed the former underutilized part of the city into the vibrant urban destination now known worldwide as The Wharf. With Phase 1 opening in October 2017, and Phase 2 delivering in October 2022, the critically acclaimed destination now covers more than 3 million square feet and is an integral part of our nation’s capital.

Perkins Eastman DC (PEDC) was the prime architect on these projects. Perkins Eastman’s expert teams worked with PEDC to create these exciting, award-winning projects.