IBI Group ▪ Gruzen Samton has designed a new nine story building for the Abraham Joshua Heschel School. The new building, located 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, Lower School, and Middle School from disparate locations and integrates them with an existing High School.
The schools are united by a 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. 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 achieved LEED Gold certification and has won a 2013 Citation Award in the American School & University Magazine, Combined School Category.