Silman, A TYLin Company, worked with Bjarke Ingels Group and executive architect Leo A Daly to provide the structural design systems for The Heights in Arlington, Virginia.
The Heights merges two of Arlington Public Schools’ secondary education programs, the H-B Woodlawn Program and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Program. To provide optimal learning environments in a dense urban area of the city, the architectural design presents an efficient vertical organization while maintaining the feeling of a single-story school building.
The unique geometry of the 775-seat public school building incorporates five traditional one-story bar-style classrooms stacked atop one another and rotated around a pivot point. The result is a series of classrooms and school facilities overlooking terraces that cascade down the site and support a variety of plantings and landscape elements.
Throughout the design and construction stages, Silman worked closely with the construction team and steel fabricator to ensure economical solutions and constructability. Early meetings were critical to coordinating steel availability with the construction schedule, erection methods, preferred connection types, and site logistics.
- Silman designed a truss-and-buttress system that optimized the load path and reduced the number of ground-level columns.
- Integrated analysis models and building information modeling (BIM) were used throughout the project to track tonnage and costs associated with critical and typical structures.