The essential challenges driving the design of this combined elementary/middle school were siting and scale. Accommodating two schools under one roof on a dense, 7.3-acre urban site necessitated a compact, efficient plan. The design solution is an L-shaped building. The K-5 and 6-8 programs are in separate, three-story academic wings, anchored at their intersection by a CAPACITY850COST PER SQ FT$146.00FEATURED IN2002 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized of shared resources. Tucked into the northeast corner of the site, the plan leaves enough open space for the development of much-needed outdoor recreational areas, including playfields, a street hockey rink, a tot lot and an interior courtyard. The design also provides daylighting in every classroom.
In massing, forms and materials, the new facility stands in marked contrast to the 1950s school it replaces. The exterior design is inspired by the Cubism of Dutch painter Mondrian Piet and his celebrated “’Composition in Red, Yellow and Blue.” A variety of imaginative and unconventional forms—canopies, pavilions and projecting three-story bays with structural- steel ornamental fabrications—are incorporated in the public facades on a scale that conforms to the residential proportions of the neighborhood.