Crow Island School Citation – The Bronx Early Learning Center
American School and University Magazine
The Bronx Early Learning Center is a new 35,000-square-foot facility serving 250 special-needs children through a universal pre-K and early-intervention program. By renovating a turn-of-the-century stable, the preschool has brought new life to the street, while serving the needs of an under-served community.
The goal was to design a vibrant preschool to stimulate growth and development in a nurturing environment. Public spaces use a color-coding system to denote their function; the repetition of simple shapes and forms reinforces this logic for students. Design elements include classroom entrances that mimic welcoming front doors and an open stair with a striking back wall of colored wood panels extending from the ground floor to a skylighted roof.
To meet the school’s programmatic needs, a partial third floor was created over the existing double-height second floor. Program elements include 22 classrooms; occupational-, physical- and speech-therapy rooms; a roof playground; and a double-height, 1,700-square-foot multipurpose room, serving as the gym and auditorium. There are also administrative offices, a lounge and conference rooms.
“Outstanding example of an adaptive reuse. Clean, sharp and full of playfulness. An urban oasis!”– 2008 Jury
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