Blue School

Designed by: Rockwell Group
For client: Blue School Floor area: 4180.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Learning Space of the Year

Steam Room
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Steam Room

About the Project

Our firm focused on several moves that increase visibility, such as the custom facade panel at the ground floor entry that animates the street and a double-height, glazed library that becomes a beacon at night. The entry also features a 10-foot-square exterior art wall with a series of removable panels that can accommodate rotating artwork. Inside, a gallery-like entry/reception space contains a neon yellow central stair knits together the multi-level school.

The other principal space located on ground floor is the school Commons, a pick-up and drop-off area, student lounge, study hall, café, and community space. The walls are lined with a system of tiered, planted trays that function as a small-scale urban garden in partnership with Brooklyn Grange.

The second floor is dedicated to a mix of student classrooms, the school library, and teacher workspaces. Each classroom has a small area devoted to quiet study and is configured slightly differently. Additional classrooms, separate chemistry and biology labs, and art and maker-spaces continue on the third floor.

The school library occupies the southwest corner of the second and third floors. Custom common tables and a monumental sofa give students a wide variety of options for both individual and collaborative study.

The lower level accommodates: a 1,600 square-foot column-free space for sports and exercise and a separate adjacent studio for music and dance.

What’s unique about it

In 2011, Rockwell Group completed Blue School for pre-k and elementary students. The firm joined the early planning efforts for their new middle school in 2015, helping assess potential locations and conducting an extensive programming exercise for the new facility. The new Lower Manhattan location features a dedicated ground floor entry, new facade along William Street, and four levels of flexible modern classrooms and specialized spaces for learning. Inspired by Blue School’s philosophy that students should collaborate and work together, Rockwell Group ensured that every space, from classrooms to hallways, creates moments for planned and spontaneous group learning and inspiration.

School Commons 2
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

School Commons

Music Room
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Music Room

Gymnasium 2
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Gymnasium

Art Steam Room
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Art and Steam Room

Classroom 1
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Class Room

Library
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Library

Lobby 1
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Lobby

Cellar Lounge 1
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Cellar Lounge

Exterior Entry
© Albert Vecerka - © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Exterior Entry

Location of project:
Credits:
Rockwell Group

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