Update: BxC’s Grand Opening

Last Friday, the students of the Bronx Community Charter school welcomed visitors into their new space for the first time. The grand opening was a way for the students to share the findings of their six-week hands-on study of the space. As part of learning about the building, the students interviewed professionals involved in the design and construction of BxC. They then created museums in the classrooms and throughout the school, sharing their investigations through a variety of exhibits and activities.

In the boiler room, students showed the mechanisms that circulate water; they built a working model of an elevator; they made models of their unique “break out” spaces in the school that are meant to foster small groups of learning; the students even depicted the façade of the building that implements a glass curtain wall.

As the architects, it’s satisfying to see the students so involved with the design of their new school. We are proud to partner with such a forward-thinking organization, and happy that the students are interacting with the building we had a hand in creating.

The fifth graders were responsible for researching the design of the building, and so they visited ESKW/A last week. They learned how BxC was built, what architects do on a daily basis, and our design process. They aggregated their findings and presented them:

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A highlight of the grand opening was the students performing a dance routine that mixed elements of hip-hop and yoga. The spacious lobby was design to be a flexible space, and so we’re delighted that the students can use it in this way.

 

 

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ESKW/A was glad to see a former colleague; although she’s since moved to Boston, Janine Sutton was key to the design of this project.

News 12 featured the event here.

A few of the architects of BxC (from left): Kimberly Murphy, Jun Kumazawa, and Janine Sutton.

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BxC Fifth Graders come to ESKW/A!

We were thrilled to welcome Bronx Community Charter School’s fifth grade classes to our office! As part of a school-wide study of their new building, the students from BxC spoke first-hand to the architects responsible for the design of their school, opened in September. While kindergartners have been studying plumbing and how water moves through the building, the fifth graders have been exploring “blue prints” and the design process.

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Kimberly explained how the design team selected the materials of the building, from roof play tiles, to Icestone, to the purple and orange paint that match the logo of BxC. The kids passed around design boards, VCT, paint samples, and wood. They asked insightful, probing questions. To, “What was the biggest design challenge?” we answered that we had to make sure the stairs were large enough to accommodate access to the school, which is on the third floor. A discussion about what a structural engineer does, and how steel can reinforce concrete, was triggered by the question, “How did you deal with the sloping site?” Our favorite question was, “What makes our school special?” At BxC, we got to work closely with the school leaders to make a space truly suited to their programmatic needs; the corridor in particular is designed with BxC’s vision in mind.

Next, the class took advantage of the architectural riches of TriBeCa to learn firsthand about the components of a building. The class found a column, identified each part, and discussed whether it was for “aesthetic purposes” or “structural purposes.” Standing on White St., the class found glass curtain, brick, and a cast-iron façades. They discussed how the invention of the elevator was transformative for architecture because it meant buildings could be more than a few stories tall.

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Then it was time for a well-deserved lunch!

Thank you, BxC, for your interest in your new home and for coming to explore our neighborhood.

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