Sharing a city block with the existing IS 61, the new building defines a firm edge for the resulting shared campus. The building is articulated in two parts, classroom wing and assembly spaces volume, joined by a transparent “waist”.
The experience of students arriving on the site will be from play yard to transparent lobby with a view directly through to the street opposite. Ascent via generous stair will provide access to the vividly coloured corridor of the classroom wing as well as the assembly spaces opposite.
The straightforward volume and methodical articulation of the building is modified by details which celebrate the presence of its schoolchildren occupants, among which are few and low steps at the street entrance, sheltering canopies playful artwork and colours, transparent cafeteria enclosure. Shallow lintels and deeply sloping sills enable views from upper floors to the play yard and street below.
A commissioned artwork by Korean artist Sun Kwak flanks the street entrance an in its flowing movement provides a counterpoint to the rigor of the building’s architectural expression.
Photo credits: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners