T.C. Williams High School
Alexandria City Public Schools, Alexandria, Virginia
T.C. Williams High School was designed to meet increasing enrollment needs and be adjacently sited to the existing high school. In designing a school for 2,500 students, it was important to consider how the scale might be minimized. Consequently, the classroom portions of the building are broken down into five academic houses, each having its own decentralized administrative offices. These academic houses are split into two three-story sections on each side of a central student dining/commons area, which provides natural light from clerestory windows and a roof garden above. This commons area also opens to a small outside amphitheater allowing the students an outdoor space for dining on campus. The main circulation spine through the building anchors a 1,200-seat auditorium at one end and a 3,000-seat competition gymnasium at the other end. Earning LEED Gold in 2009 and ENERGY STAR certification in 2011, this is the first LEED school in Alexandria.