Home & Design

Higher Learning

Amid much fanfare on October 19th, the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center debuted in the heart of DC. The 435,000-square-foot, multi-disciplinary hub houses the newly launched School of Government and Policy along with other Hopkins schools and academic divisions. The mission of the dynamic building is to connect the realms of research, policy, art and education.

The center occupies the former Newseum building in its enviable Penn Quarter location near the U.S. Capitol. The structure was repurposed for its new role by two New York-based firms. Ennead Architects, which designed the original building in 2008, spearheaded exterior alterations while Rockwell Group orchestrated fresh interiors. An exterior clad in Tennessee pink marble echoes historic buildings nearby; an expanded glass façade brings in natural light. Inside, levels were removed to create a seven-story atrium (pictured above); myriad academic and gathering spaces are configured around this central core. “Conceptually and structurally, the transformation was designed to establish a progressive new identity,” says Richard Olcott, FAIA, FAAR, of Ennead Architects. “We opened up the building to reveal the vibrancy within while revitalizing the streetscape.”

Flexible spaces promote engagement via public forums, innovative programming, briefings, collaborations and more. An art gallery, large-scale commissioned art installations and a 375-seat theater are part of the mix; extensive terraces provide panoramic city views.

Exterior Architecture: Ennead Architects, New York, New York. Interior Architecture: Rockwell Group, New York, New York. Architect of Record: SmithGroup, Washington, DC. Contractor: Clark Construction, Washington, DC. 

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