Gonzaga College High School
As the oldest all-boys school in Washington, DC, Gonzaga College High School is proud of its rich history and maintains a deep commitment to its inner-city location. The school’s iconic main façade fronts the first block of I Street, NW. Years ago, the school had acquired the street from the city to use as parking and service access.
Facing a series of concerns common for an urban campus – outdoor space for students, athletic fields, appropriate parking, and perimeter security, the school recognized the need to reimagine and redevelop Eye Street along with its football field to create a new campus front door and arrival sequence. The challenge was to resolve these issues while enhancing Gonzaga’s strong sense of tradition.
The solution creates a new 1,300-person stadium facility above a 300 car below-grade parking garage. This allowed for redevelopment of Eye Street into a student-focused pedestrian mall. The campus plaza was conceived as a series of activity zones that visually connect the campus and the open space of the field. At its center is a gateway plaza creating an iconic arrival point from the main staircase and connecting to the academic quadrangle behind the Eye Street buildings. Additional pavilions provide for student activities, quiet reflection, and game-day events. At the west end of the plaza is the new main gate to the secured campus with a tall circular pavilion that marks the entrance from the street.
The architectural character of the stadium and pavilions is intended to respect school traditions and symbols. As eagles mark entrances, red brick, stone and exposed architectural steel are used to connect to the character of the neighborhood while deferring to the school’s historic Eye Street façade.