The Abraham Joshua Heschel School

New York, New York

  • FIRM

    IBI Group; Gruzen Samton


    The Abraham Joshua Heschel School;

  • AREA

    145,000 sq.ft.





A new 10-story high-rise school on a tight urban site on Manhattan's West Side has united the Heschel School's entire learning community on one campus for the first time. The new facility brings an early childhood center (ECC), lower school, and middle school from disparate locations and integrates them with an existing ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY775COST PER SQ FT$510.00CITATIONCombined-Level School CitationFEATURED IN2013 Architectural Portfolio school.

The schools are united by a wonderful double-height commons area at street level that is filled with natural light and surrounded by activities shared by all. Strategic placement of school programs within the new building ensures that all members of the Heschel community become engaged with the commons as they move through the building each day.

Each school receives its own identity within the building and incorporates age-appropriate features consistent with Heschel’s own pedagogy; the lower school creates two-room houses that accommodate an entire class in a large room for general activities and an interconnected small space for special language studies. Play areas cover every roof surface, and sustainable design principles have been incorporated throughout the building and integrated with the curriculum of the school.

This project has received LEED gold certification.

“The project represents a progressive approach to a multi-level, multi-grade urban school.”--2013 jury

Design team: Scott Keller, AIA, Design Partner; Geoffrey Doban, AIA, Partner-in-Charge; Valerie Mutterperl, AIA, LEED AP, Project Manager; Eddie Chu, AIA, LEED AP, Robert Lucas, AIA, Project Architects; Bryan McKeown, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Technician; Susan Drew, AIA, LEED AP, Sustainable Design; Richard Murphy, Exterior Envelope Consultant; Sergio Valerio, AIA, Zoning Specialist; Peter Samton, Resource Partner; Cathy Jackson, AIA, LEED AP, Programmer