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The Langley School is an independent day school in McLean, Virginia serving 480 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. Founded upon a deep appreciation for childhood, and an abiding belief in the necessity and power of parent/teacher partnership, the Langley School offers a nurturing community with an individually attuned academic program –proving both to be mutually reinforcing and equally essential to a child’s development and education.
In 2010, CGS and the Langley School developed a Campus Master Plan to guide long-term facility growth and facilitate incremental campus development. The plan represented a bold and ambitious direction for the school and the culmination of several years of detailed discussion and planning. At its core, the Campus Master Plan focused on development of a simple and coherent group of buildings organized around a central green to complement existing structures. The Campus was conceived as a series of use zones: public & private, vehicular & pedestrian, and academic & play. Vehicle parking was reworked to create a controlled traffic flow that allows for bus loading and car pick-up/drop-off to occur on the public/vehicular facing side of Campus, ensuring safe separation between students and vehicles. The Administration Building is intentionally placed at this entrance as the “gatekeeper” for visual security and administrative control. A landscaped campus green forms a central open space around which all new buildings are organized which forms a continuous edge along the south side of the green.
From this original vision grew the Crossroads Building. By formal definition, a Crossroads is a junction, a place of intersection and a central meeting place. For Langley, this became the first building on campus to house programmatic functions that would engage their entire student body over the course of each day: academics, Library, music, after-school programs, and a multipurpose room. It was envisioned to be a Caring Community hub: a place of social interaction and scholastic engagement which is a Cornerstone of Langley’s Mission.
The now completed Crossroads Building serves as a gathering space for all Langley students and teachers. The building was convinced with extensive stakeholder engagement to ensure the program spaces, furnishings, interior finishes, and overall plan fit the current and future needs of the Langley School. The building is organized on three levels connected by a light-filled central stairwell with highly controlled access to each area for student safety. The first level is home to the youngest learners, bringing all the Primary School classes together under one roof. The second level holds the Library, Innovation/Technology Lab, and the 5th Grade Commons and classrooms. To Langley, this is a pivotal year for a student. They are developing skills and taking healthy risks to become independent, responsible, and caring leaders as they prepare for Middle School. Abundant natural light fills the academic spaces and filters through into central gathering spaces, connecting all program areas visually. The Library’s lofted ceiling creates an inviting atmosphere that supports discovery for all ages in the Langley Community.
The Crossroads Building illustrates how a building can become the physical manifestation of an educational program and create a vibrant setting that gathers, connects, and changes.