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.
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.
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.