The full development of a 42,000-square-foot charter middle school and commercial center, located on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx.
Situated along the elevated train track on Jerome Avenue, de-spec developed a proposal for a new education hub for 375 students and faculty members in the Bronx. The building consolidates five different properties to accommodate a new commercial zone and community center. The transparent ground level engages sidewalk traffic through four commercial spaces, as well as the school’s main entrance.
The middle school is organized vertically around a large light-filled atrium, linking the assembly space at the basement level with the classrooms on the second, third and fourth floors. Five staircases connect the four levels and provide access to the rooftop playground. To protect the classrooms from the acoustical and vibrational noise of the train tracks below, we selected a metal mesh wrap to extend across the front façade, and also serve as a protective screen for roof activities. This new school building, as well as the surrounding neighborhood at street level, will be activated with life and energy, creating a space for new encounters and community bonding.