christopher provided complete landscape architecture services for the redesign of the National Cathedral School courtyard and new centralized, secure entry portal. christopher’s team developed a design for the 1.8-acre site that reflected the historic architecture of the campus, incorporated learning opportunities into the landscape and redesigned and replaced a 100-seat amphitheater.
christopher’s design concept focused on creating “living classroom” spaces that incorporate learning opportunities into the landscape. Working with staff and students, educational priorities were identified such as the provision of multiple outdoor classroom spaces, physical representation of graphing and measurement, green technology demonstration areas and several expanses of landscaped or open garden plots for science activities.
One of christopher’s priorities was full accessibility of the entire project site, including the amphitheater and the inner courtyard lawn. christopher also provided designs to make the pedestrian connection across Woodley Road, which bisects the campus, directly accessible for the first time. christopher’s team was challenged to incorporate low impact development (LID) techniques, such as rain gardens, with an emphasis towards native plants and plant materials requested by the Washington National Cathedral Garden Committee. Another goal was to salvage existing plantings for reuse. Two mature white oak trees serve as the focal point of the inner courtyard and will be preserved by greatly expanding available green space surrounding the trees and by maintaining existing grades through the use of low retaining seat walls.