The Maryland based firm, Grimm+Parker Architects is committed to sustainable design and community architecture. They have won several eminent awards in their more than 45 years of practice. The diverse group of architects and designers strive to give back to the community through the sustainable and meaningful designs of schools, libraries, mixed-use developments, multi-family residential spaces, and a wide range of cultural and civic buildings.
1. Discovery STEM Academy
Recipient of several awards, the design of this contemporary education academy is synonymous with the collaborative and open learning curriculum of Discovery STEM. From the individual desks and classroom layouts to the architecture of the building itself, everything has been designed for a dynamic and comprehensive learning experience.
The four elements of holistic education: leadership, nutrition, fitness, and discovery are emulated in the organization of the building’s floor plan. Exploration based laboratories, edible gardens, an Outdoor Amphitheater, and the Outdoor Learning Classrooms encourage and facilitate discovery.
2. Kenmore Middle School
Successfully combating the challenge of an accelerated timeline, the school won awards for its outstanding design and interior architecture. This public school spread is divided into three zones for easy circulation. The three-storeyed building uses natural lighting and sustainable green technologies in its design. The classrooms are designed to provide ample space for students to showcase their works, fostering a sense of pride and ownership in them.
3. Waverly PreK-8
The LEED Gold certified project, sitting on a tight urban site, features a green vegetative roof, sunshades, solar panels, and high-efficiency building systems. The project gives special attention to the zoning and circulation paths to ensure separate flows for students of different age groups. The school’s exterior is inspired by the neighborhood’s history and responds to its urban context. Architectural features include curved drywall and sloping acoustic ceilings, multiple styles of metal panels, a metal barrel vault roof, and two skylights that bring daylight into the building core.
4. Washington-Lee High School
The school’s building is befitted for a 21st Century building and reflects the building’s importance to the County while respecting the city’s rich history, and Art Deco tradition.
The LEED Gold-certified brick building has informal gathering and discussion spaces like a large Library balcony, an amphitheater outside the Dining Room, the Courtyard, and a Cyber Cafe to generate the free-flow of academic and social energy. The site has been planned not only to minimize the building’s footprint and utilize the green space for student and community use, but also to knit together the campus and community with pedestrian and bike paths.
5. Connelly Hall, Connelly School of the Holy Child
The challenge in designing the extension facility was to continue the esteemed legacy of the existing school while providing state-of-the-art learning spaces to its students.
The façade of the facility adds new and fresh character to the campus in line with the esthetics of the neighboring buildings. The classrooms, library, and the corridors are designed to be light, airy, and inviting to inspire the students to gather, reflect, and study.
6. Performing Arts and Humanities Building, UMBC
Housing a diverse range of flexible, intimate, and robust performance spaces, this LEED- Gold facility brings various art forms together to create a dynamic space. The center is a focal point of the campus as it not only has a distinct visual identity but also connects the campus with the community at large. The composition, material selection, and form of the building enhance the visibility of the theatre and music departments while giving each department its own defined space.
7. Burke Centre Library
The floor to ceiling windows in the facility blur the boundary between the outside and inside and allow a seamless transition between the spaces. Sustainable site strategies like north-facing glass windows, use of recycled and reclaimed materials, and the use of low VOC building materials and finishes helped the building to gain a LEED certification and become the first library in Virginia to do so. The site, zoning of the building, and internal layouts have been planned to connect the visitors with nature.
8. Music Center at Strathmore
The Seating layout, interior furnishings, and one-of-a-kind variable acoustic system converge in the 1976-seat concert hall and Education Centre to create it into a world-class venue. The undulating S-shaped roof form of the concert hall responds to the rolling hills of the site, while also expressing the primary music volumes of the center. The shoebox shaped hall has been designed to accommodate projecting balconies extending alongside and behind the stage, to create a sense of intimacy between the musicians and the audience.
9. Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility
The three-storied, steel-framed, and reinforced CMU facility accommodates recreational amenities in a light, open structure with simple, rugged materials that reflect the demands of the building’s program. Sited in an agricultural area, the design of the facility draws inspiration from rural and agricultural references. The gable shaped roof, natural colors, and the entrance resembling traditional grain silo are reminiscent of the site’s history as a working farm.
10. Monarch Mills Master Plan
The site of the mixed-income, multi-generational project was planned to filter the vehicular traffic on the outskirts, allowing the residents to traverse through the development without crossing a vehicle. The pockets of green spaces, defined around the apartments for outdoor activities, imbibe a sense of place among the residents. The Arts and Crafts style of the apartments create a distinct identity for each building and neighborhood within the project.
11. Highland Park Senior Apartments
Balancing between energy efficiency, historic preservation, and affordable housing, the project maintains the integrity of the original Mediterranean Revival-style structure. G+P successfully converted a site that was in dire condition suffering from deferred maintenance, outdated systems, and vandalism into one of the most sustainable structures on the block.
12. Rivers Edge Apartments and Studio for the Arts
Designed with artists and disabled communities in mind, this affordable housing project provides spaces for artists to turn their ideas into reality like a working art studio, an art gallery, and a theater room. With 90 apartments in three garden apartment buildings, the private and public spaces are designed to make use of the project’s proximity to the river.
13. University Place
The mixed-use development project successfully transformed a dying off-campus housing precinct into a bustling space. The two high-rise residential buildings sit on a pedestal containing plenty of amenity and retail spaces, and a level of underground parking. A prodigious staircase running between the two buildings connect the landscaped plazas and private elevated courtyards with the retail frontage and pedestrian mews; and also helps in dealing with the significant level differences across the site.
14. Bowie City Hall and Police Headquarters
Sitting on a curvilinear site, G+P designed the building form to capture the natural connections between the community, the views to the lake, and the surrounding landscape. The facility houses the local government office, an emergency command center, and the police headquarters. The transparency and accessibility of the local government are characterized by the welcoming, light-filled lobby and the use of glass and windows in the building.
15. Laurel Branch Library
Winner of the National AIA and Public Building of the year award, the library references its site’s historic roots through the use of textured stone materials, while embracing the future through the bold use of dynamic lines in its form and incorporating modern educational amenities. The library allows the users to connect with outside and the community by letting them enjoy sunlight, and experience color and texture. The library features imaginative spaces like a replica paleontological dig site in the children’s area, cave-like opening in stone walls, and hidden reading nooks.