The renovation of an empty surplus Archdiocese school building in Baltimore’s historic Federal Hill neighborhood provided a home for St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, an 11-month school.

The design challenge was to transform a 100-year-old school building mired in outdated teaching techniques into an active, engaging, 21st century learning environment for underserved middle school boys from at-risk neighborhoods.


  • Renovation of historic urban school
  • Creation of high-performance learning environments
  • 26,000 SF school facility

New and old intertwine side-by-side throughout the design. Highly efficient systems, a new elevator for ADA accessibility and various technologies were all methodically woven into the existing building structure. While some walls were removed to provide views and strengthen connections, historically significant volumes and artifacts were celebrated and off-set against modern insertions to express to students and visitors the sustainability and value in repurposing Baltimore’s urban fabric.

"Students recognize and translate the impact of the new learning environment into improved behaviors, along with better focus and determination to succeed."

John Ciccone 

Existing entrance was opened up to create a space that provides a sense of arrival, visual security, ADA access as well as a gathering space for students to socialize or assemble before field trips, sporting events or while waiting for parents or public transportation.Outside view shows the historic (and current) entry.


Fresh Start: St. Ignatius Loyola Academy opens at new location, The Catholic Review, September 2013 
St. Ignatius students move into high-tech building, WBAL, September 2013