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Terra Centre Elementary

Burke, VA
68,000 sf Renewal to Existing, 20,000 sf Additions
580 Students Grades K-6

A unique school, Terra Centre is one of two earth-sheltered roof elementary schools in Fairfax County. Getting more light and visual access to the exterior was a priority in renovating the poured in place concrete building. On this tight site, the roof is their playground. A new central clerestory lit atrium of allows light to flood the center building while providing a stair and an elevator to access the grass roof playground. We essentially fit square pegs into round holes, reconfiguring the four circular pods with undersized pie-shaped classrooms into assemblies of larger rectangular classrooms configured along corridors that progressively step back and open to light filled resource areas at the perimeter of the building. A new media center addition was added on the primary street side as community focal point, and a clerestory lit lobby addition welcomes students and staff at the main entrance. Complete building systems replacement include replacing the VAV HVAC system with water-to-air heat pump system to reduce duct sizes for increased classroom ceiling height.

Construction completion is scheduled for December, 2014.