The award-winning design of the Bronx Charter School for the Arts reflects the school’s founding principle that arts education is critical to human development and learning. Color, space, and natural light create a direct physical connection with the content and aims of the curriculum.
Through its adaptive re-use of an old factory, the school plays a role in the transformation of its industrial Hunts Point neighborhood. To create a healthy environment that enhances learning spaces, despite budget and site constraints, WXY employed a simple and inventive approach.
A design process that involved community and future teaching staff resulted in a unique, light-filled space that dovetails with Bronx Art’s educational mission. The use of a complex rhythm of brightly colored glazed brick for the façade contributes a strong street presence, called for by the school’s mission to promote community participation through the arts.
Wide openings and minimal division of continuous space serve the founders’ goal of using the built environment to encourage openness and communication. The classrooms are conceived as studio spaces.
Many low cost sustainable features were incorporated in the construction, and the building far exceeds the minimum standards for air changes. Filtered fresh air and natural light enhance the environment for productivity, and reduce lighting loads and costs.
The decision to reuse the façade structure, adding a new insulated brick layer, brought energy and material savings. All the materials used are of minimum 80% recycled content.
Bronx Foundation for Education and The Arts; Civic Builders
Expanded in 2006
Citation Award, DesignShare/School Construction News