The south wing of an Armed Forces Retirement Home Building, now home to K-8 public charter school, needed resilient and flexible flooring.
The Sherman Building has been a part of the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) campus since its original opening in 1857. Known for many years as “the soldiers home,” this building is located on the 272-acre AFRH campus in Washington, D.C. The south wing of the Sherman Building is now the home of Creative Minds International (CMI), a k-8 public charter school. When selecting flooring for this renovation, it was important that the material offered resilience and flexibility as 25% of their student body included those with extra needs. Because this building is on the National Register of Historic Places, no permanent changes could be made, leading to interesting design challenges.
Newman Architects wanted to prioritize material that provided a homelike feel that remained applicable to the historical context of the campus. In order to bring this vision to fruition, Newman Architects worked closely with teachers, staff, students and community members to understand CMI’s authentic context and project needs. The targeted renovation included three new classrooms, an activated common area and other support spaces totaling 6,000 sq. ft. to support its growing student body.
Working with the Altro sales and technical representatives, Newman Architects decided to move forward with Altro Orchestra and Altro Wood Comfort to create a comfortable learning environment that would consider the needs of their whole student population. These sheet vinyl flooring products met the visual, acoustical and functional performance required for the space. Along with these performance attributes, the design team liked the ability to create distinctive patterns and designs which were used for wayfinding, creating points of focus and denoting clear space for egress in some of the multi-use hallways. Altro Orchestra and Altro Wood Comfort’s combination of aesthetic appeal, underfoot comfort and acoustical performance aligned perfectly with the initial vision behind the project renovation.