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Browne Academy Lawler Preschool

Adaptive Reuse

Facing an increasing number of pre-school applications, Browne Academy began exploring ways to expand its existing capacity.  Some years earlier they had purchased an 80-year-old stone Residence on the north side of its campus entrance drive, and they engaged Maginnis + Del Ninno Architects to determine if this building could be re-purposed for a child care annex.

After investigation and assessment of the building, as well as preliminary meetings with Fairfax County, it was determined that the property could feasibly be converted to educational use for 42 pre-school students. Because a portion of the property is located Maginniss + Del Ninno Architects d adjacent to Pikes Branch in a Resource Protection Area, the Minor Site Plan application required the careful low impact design of the site development. 

The primary objectives of the renovation concept were to maintain the intimacy and architectural character of the residence while providing an exciting learning environment that meets accessibility and building code requirements. The interior is simply organized with a large classroom, supplemental science room, and support spaces on the first floor, and a large classroom on the second floor. Natural materials and colors provide a unifying scheme to the interior. The classrooms utilize unique corners, porches, and alcoves to provide active and passive spaces.


Alexandria, VA, USA

Browne Academy

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