Ace architects, proud African-Americans, and founders of the dynamic Devrouax + Purnell Architects- Paul Devrouax and Marshall Purnell, are inspirational and imaginative. 

The firm, which is located in the Washington DC, metropolitan area, generated note-worthy projects and became the first African-American firm to design a building for a fortune 500 company.  

Sustainable and energy-efficient buildings are the key, as the firm encompasses LEED Accredited Professionals who offer varied architectural services like project management, interior design, animation, and lots more.  

Devrouax + Purnell Architects evolved into dp + partners with Danny Williams as the Managing Partner and Anthony Brown as the Design Head. Together, they carry the legacy and principles of their founding members and have created some iconic architectural buildings.  

1. Kipp Charter School 

Location: Washington DC 

KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) is a network of schools that launched one in Washington DC, called the KIPP Charter School. The campus consists of two programs together- the KEY Academy, a 37,000 SF middle school, and LEAP Academy, a 51,000 SF elementary school.

The location of the school is extremely accessible as it lies in the central area of the district which enables 80% of its students to commute via public transport. The structure is compact and enables maximum spatial area for the new field and tracks and looks over the athletic field. Designed in association with Studio 27 Architecture, the project won the 2009 AIA DC Chapter’s Architecture Excellence Award. The exterior façade of the building has subtle colors and rich textures and stands gracefully amongst the surrounding landscape and DC’s monumental buildings.  

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KIPP Charter School ©www.studios.com
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KIPP Charter School ©www.studios.com
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KIPP Charter School ©www.studios.com

2. Janney Elementary School 

Location: Washington DC

A LEED Silver certified school, DP planners modernized and revamped the Janney Elementary School, which was originally built in 1929. Being a historic landmark, as listed by the Historic Preservation Review Board, the 40,000 SF building was redeveloped in 2 phases. Keeping the essence of the previous building intact, the team added glass to the original brick tower and a new modern building made of cast concrete, metal, and glass, to support the new educational zones like art room, science lab, etc. The exterior is an amalgamation of old and new, whereas the interiors incorporated a new, contemporary design.   

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Janney Elementary School ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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Janney Elementary School ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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Janney Elementary School ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/

3. Turkey Thicket Recreation Center

Location: Washington DC

A “state-of-the-art” facility, the Turkey Thicket Center is a recreation and sports arena located adjacent to a Catholic University in DC. This 31,000 SF facility was developed over a site that consisted of a small park house earlier. The areas include a 25-meter pool along with a 300 spectators seating, a wading pool, and a spa. Sports facilities like a basketball court, exercise room, multipurpose meeting rooms, and locker rooms are also available for the citizens. The structural façade is a combination of materials, mostly brick, and its monotony is broken by glass and metal combinations that add a modern touch to the building.

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Turkey thicket ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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Turkey thicket ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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Turkey thicket ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/

4. Potomac Electric Power Company Headquarters

Location: Washington DC

DP + planners designed the office headquarters for PEPCO consisting of 10 stories and 384,000 SF. The primary façade is a glass envelope with horizontal sun shading devices and the east side is designed predominantly with precast members with punctured openings. Adhering to the key principles of their design firm, energy conservation was of utmost importance which led to the development of this efficient building envelope. The office building is located in a way that captures eye-catching views of the monuments and the Capitol from its rooftop and the design ensures minimal impact on the Metro tunnels. 

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PEPCO Headquarters ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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PEPCO Headquarters ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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PEPCO Headquarters ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/

5. Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Center

Location: Largo MD

As the name suggests the Sports and Learning Center, includes spaces for varied sports and indoor classroom-like spaces for learning. The structure stands tall at the highest point on a 40-acre site and is linear and modern in design. Glass, metal, and stone make up for the exterior and the entire complex is made up of 240,000 SF of building area. The center consists of athletic functions like a 200m indoor track, warm-up pool, 50-meter competition pool, and gymnasium training facilities, along with a fitness center and training and coaches’ room. The learning center, on the other hand, has spaces exclusive for classes, computer learning, and other educational programs.  

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Prince George County Sports and Learning Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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Prince George County Sports and Learning Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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Prince George County Sports and Learning Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/

6. Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy

Location: Washington DC 

An energy-efficient, state-of-the-art, facility in Ely Place, Northeast Washington DC, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy (WNYBA) is a LEED Silver certified building. The Baseball Academy includes 3 regulation youth baseball fields, along with a grand seating area for over 500 people. Facilities for training have been provided as well which include areas like batting cages, administrative and learning facilities. The structure stands behind the baseball field, with a semi-open multipurpose area of the first floor that is covered by a cantilever roof standing on large columns. The linear building made up of stone, glass, and metal, the institute also stands to educate people in terms of sustainability. 

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Washington National Youth Baseball Academy ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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Washington National Youth Baseball Academy ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/

7. Progression Place UNCF Headquarters

Location: Washington DC 

UNCF: United Negro College Fund has its headquarters located in Washington DC and stands magnificently near the historic Howard Theatre. The building is a mixed-use facility as it comprises retail on the ground floor and a 9-story office building above it. The Progression Place is also a mixed-income facility as it includes 200 apartments, out of which 50% are affordable and also a 109,000 SF office condo, which is partly owned by the UNCF. The structure also an underground parking garage and it’s mostly enveloped in a glass façade and displaying an entirely different façade and feature on each elevation. 

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UNCF Headquarters ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/
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UNCF Headquarters ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com/

8. Anacostia Gateway

Location: Washington DC 

The team at D+P worked on the site development and master planning of this 63,000 SF office building in Anacostia, along with interior design, IT, CDs, and construction administration facilities. A three-story, $19 M development, the Anacostia Gateway is a sophisticated mixed-use building with retail space, Class A office and related spaces together, and sub-grade parking area. The subtle and minimalist exterior façade has rustic colors and a zig-zag pattern in between the windows. The elements of the exterior face are also carried to the inside with similar color schemes and simplicity which is observed in the office areas. 

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Anacostia Gateway ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Anacostia Gateway ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Anacostia Gateway ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com

9. King Greenleaf Recreation Center

Location: Washington DC 

A cultural and entertainment facility, the King Greenleaf Recreation Center has an interesting exterior that is its striking feature. The uniformity of the curved exterior walls is broken by the arched glass façade that protrudes out of the main building. The structure uniquely reflects modernity as the design is based on a fusion of construction techniques. This integration of materials and elements is the highlight of the building, which houses an indoor basketball court with a seating area of 200 people, fitness and game rooms, and locker rooms. Classroom spaces for meetings and educational programs are also included in this recreation scheme.   

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King Greenleaf Recreation Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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King Greenleaf Recreation Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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King Greenleaf Recreation Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com

10. Fillmore Renaissance

Location: San Francisco  

A mixed-use complex, the Fillmore Renaissance is an elegant activity center that has several functions which it houses. A residential facility on the floors above, with the heart of the center being the Fillmore Jazz Museum and Broadcast Center, the massing of the structure increases in the center with lesser stories on the sides. The 3,000 SF broadcast facility is designed for jazz video and documentaries that serve as an educational facility for the people and visitors of San Francisco. An interesting play of design, the glass façade is combined with beige finishes that enrich the aesthetics of the building which also included impressive interiors of the apartments and other facilities.  

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Fillmore Renaissance ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Fillmore Renaissance ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Fillmore Renaissance ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com

11. Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium

Location: Washington DC 

In partnership with HOK Sport, the team provided architectural design services for this LEED Silver certified stadium, located along the Anacostia River. The Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium is the home ballpark for the Washington Nationals, costing a whopping $693 million to build. A fast-track design-build project, the arena was designed and built in just 23 months. The groundbreaking was done in early 2006 and the design-built approach enabled fast construction and hands-on involvement of the entire team. The seating is divided into four zones which differ as per pricing and events like concerts, and hockey is also held apart from baseball.  

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Washington National Baseball Stadium ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Washington National Baseball Stadium ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com

12. One Republic Square

Location: Washington DC 

An office space situated in DC, the One Republic Square reflects grandeur and elegance. The facades are developed keeping in mind the historic structures of the National Postal Museum. Made up of two towers, the facades of the project are a combination of glass and concrete. Though the Redevelopment Land Authority had concerns regarding the performance of the building, the team was able to design the building appropriately responding to the urban issues. An amalgamation of curved walls and linear straight walls are adapted as per the site constraints and context and the interiors showcase exquisite stones like marble and luxurious design.

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One Republic Square ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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One Republic Square ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com

13. Freddie Mac Headquarters

Location: McLean, Virginia 

The official headquarters for Freddie Mac located on a 35-acre land in Virginia has 4 levels of office space along with 3 levels of parking facilities. This flexible and efficient structure was built keeping in mind the wooded site characteristics and the surrounding campus buildings. A different take on the window and façade treatment, the exterior elevation has punched windows which are provided logically and have a rhythmic succession. The location of the rear side is towards a heavily wooded area and the façade is altered to an aluminum-finned ribbon pattern of openings and has a landscaped terrace with trees and greenery, tying the structure to the site. The portion of the building that faces the plethora of trees has a glass curtain wall.   

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Freddie Mac Headquarters ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Freddie Mac Headquarters ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com

14. African American Civil War Memorial

Location: Washington DC 

A dedication to the valiant African-American soldiers, and their officers, the Civil War Memorial is a historic and heritage site located in Washington DC. An interesting depiction of the soldiers who fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War, the 7,000 SF memorial is situated at the “U” Street Cardozo Metro Station. To instill a feeling of hope and pride amongst the citizens, “The Spirit of Freedom ” is engraved in the memorial with more inspirational quotes written on the seating areas. Substantial coordination with the National Park Services, the Department of Public, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority lead to the development of this admirable memorial. 

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African American Civil War Memorial ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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African American Civil War Memorial ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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African American Civil War Memorial ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com

15. Verizon Center

Location: Washington DC  

A center dedicated to sports and entertainment, the Verizon Center or the MCI Center has advanced arenas for NBA/WNBA Basketball, NHL Hockey, and numerous features like office space for owners, sports museum, retail stores, and restaurants. A $182 million facility, the center also hosts events ranging from concerts to circus and has a 400-vehicle parking capacity spread out over two levels. The sprawling of the retail area is covered with a curved roof and the structure has an underground connection to the Metro Station. Along with these interesting features, the Verizon Center has 110 luxury suites to accommodate over 1500 people. 

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Verizon Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Verizon Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
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Verizon Center ©www.dppartnersarchitects.com
Author

Aishwarya Khurana is an architect and creative writer, who likes to express herself through humor, words, and quirky ideas. A design enthusiast, butter chicken lover, and music junkie, she loves to read and write about art & architecture and believes that nobody can defeat her in a pop-culture quiz.

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