New York, New York
IBI Group’s creative design solution for this 750-student middle and high school facility involves a six-story structure rising from within an existing three-story building shell. The latter was built in 1924 and was the original address of the legendary Harlem jazz club Small’s Paradise, as well as home to The Interstate Tattler newspaper (1925-1932). Consequently, the structure’s significance for the Harlem community is immeasurable. The project team worked closely with the New York City Board of Education and with residents of Harlem, addressing the concerns and adhering to the design guidelines and requirements of both groups. The two street facades of the existing building were preserved during demolition and are now an integral part of the overall design for the new structure. IBI Group successfully incorporated the three-story addition in such a way that the new construction is compatible with the look and feel of the original building. The new upper floors are set back from the original building and feature the same materials, colors, scale, and rhythms of the existing structure, culminating in the new gymnasium which acts as a crown, especially at night when it is illuminated and glows like a beacon.