Uncommon Charter High School and Achievement First Brooklyn High School

Brooklyn, New York

Project Details

Project Partners
Robert A.M. Stern
Melissa DelVecchio
Graham S. Wyatt

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Two New York City charter schools, Achievement First and Uncommon Schools, each serving 800 students, share this new six-story building on a mid-block site in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. The building's three main entrances are on Pacific Street, a narrow but busy residential street to the south. A rusticated brick base and over-scale window surrounds at the upper levels visually recall traditional New York City high schools and relate to the architectural character and scale of the adjacent residential buildings. The building's north facade on Atlantic Avenue takes on the character of neighboring industrial lofts along this heavily-trafficked commercial thoroughfare with elevated Long Island Railroad tracks.

An entrance lobby occupies the building's entire Pacific Street frontage. Wide hallways lead from the lobby to two stairs rising to classrooms on floors above and to a library and "cafetorium" – a combination dining and assembly hall and a central gathering place for the students. The schools' main administrative functions are adjacent to the lobby area, both to welcome and monitor visitors. On the upper floors, two divisible gymnasia are located on the south side of the building while classrooms and labs are to the north. This layout offers two sets of identical floor plans that can be easily divided between the schools, provides acoustic separation between learning and recreational activities, and allows for classrooms to be organized around efficient and easily-monitored double-loaded corridors. The five-story building also includes penthouse art and dance studios. A terrace and rooftop playfield shared by both schools offer impressive views to Manhattan.

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