Located in one of the D.C.’s oldest, traditionally African-American neighborhoods, the new Deanwood Community Center and Library is an innovative joint-use facility that features educational, recreational, and athletic programs for all ages. Housed within the building are the Early Care & Education Center, a state-of-the-art recreation pool, a sound recording studio, and a public library. The wide variety of programs serves both the local community and others, drawing patrons from across the city.
Sited at the north end of an existing 5.8-acre park in Northeast D.C., the new community center anchors and integrates with the north end of the park, helping to define the public open spaces between it and the Ronald Brown Middle School at the southern border of the park.
The sustainable design strategies for the Center focus on water conservation, materials, and energy reduction. This includes a 7,000 sf bio-retention garden and a below-grade sand filtration tank to naturally clean and retain stormwater on the site before it drains off into the city sewer system and the Anacostia River. Overall, the Center has been designed to reduce energy use by 40%, and relies on the extensive amounts of natural light brought into the building through skylights, clerestories, etc.
A family might visit the Center for the whole day to take advantage of a wide range of services, bringing an infant to the day care and a grandparent to the senior center, while parents and older children use the pool, library, computer, or game room, attend an event or meal in the community rooms, or participate in outdoor sporting events. By combining various uses in one facility, the Deanwood facility creates significant economies of scale and energy consumption for its sponsoring organizations.