Fastrackids International, a leader in children’s enrichment education, opened an academy in Staten Island, N.Y., to serve children ages 3 to 6. The firm was commissioned to design a modern, child-friendly atmosphere that reflects the innovative, technology-driven program of the school.
The design reflects children’s natural curiosity, and their ability to use and CAPACITY12COST PER SQ FT$35.09FEATURED IN2005 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized their imagination. The goal was to create an environment where children not only learn, but also have fun. The shape and construction of the classroom relate to the program, which educates children in 12 subject areas, including biology, literature, economics, earth science and mathematics.
A 325-square-foot classroom within an irregular 1,425-square-foot space has a biomorphic flow as it relates the room to the areas of earth science and biology, simultaneously contrasting it to the angular geometry of the building in relation to the mathematics aspect of the program. Constructed of metal studs and gypsum board, portions of the room’s construction are visible, giving the children a look at the wall components.
Given the 14-foot ceiling height, the decision was made to keep the ceiling of the classroom low to be in proper scale. The use of a standard-hung ceiling grid with clear Plexiglas panels keeps costs down, which enabled use of the existing lighting grid and takes advantage of the natural light coming from the storefront and clerestory windows.