New York, Queens
IBI Group Gruzen Samton was retained by the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) to design a renovation and expansion for an existing school, Primary School 35Q (Nathaniel Woodhull School) located in Hollis, Queens. Completed in 2016, the 43,000 sf new addition accommodates an additional 380 students. The historically significant structure, originally built in 1931, also houses an entry lobby, a gymatorium, student dining facilities, a kitchen, and library and instructional spaces. The design also included the reconfiguration of spaces to provide early childhood and special education classrooms.
The envelope of the existing building was renovated in order to enhance accesibility in and out of the building, within the building, and around the perimeter of the building. The challenge of this project was creating an efficient and successful addition that would not eliminate multiple outdoor play areas As part of an ongoing building resiliency program, post Super Storm Sandy, the NYCSCA eliminated cellar level construction for new facilities. The originally proposed three-story addition was reprogrammed to accommodate a fourth story The taller addition provides a reduced footprint that allows for a more generous playground. A rational and concise layout enables; abundant natural light to pass through spaces, open and flexible classrooms, and an inviting gymatorium with direct views to and from the street and play areas.